What’s Happening at the Ninth Street Station?

01/04/2011 11:40 AM |

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Since the G train started traveling as far as Church Avenue, workers have been up to something at the Ninth Street-Fourth Avenue station. First, they were laying cement on the center track beds, which looked innocently like track work. Only in recent weeks has the MTA’s grander scheme become apparent; in mid-December, when what had become a raised platform was fitted with equidistant light posts, it became clear that raised platform would become a full-fledged subway platform. And this morning, the finishing touches were being placed on a raised staircase, complete with signage explaining how to transfer to the R train.

But why are they building a platform in the middle of the tracks when a perfectly good one already exists directly behind it?

It’s part of the grand overhaul currently underway at the station, which includes a renovation of the arch over Fourth Avenue; I imagine, though have not confirmed, that this platform will be in temporary use while that side of the arch is worked on. Personally, I hope above all else that they remove the light-barring metal coverings that obscure what were once windows, stopping all light from coming into a station that once had it streaming in. (Taking down those horrendous billboards over Fourth Avenue wouldn’t hurt, either.) That train station is one of the nicest in the system—if the MTA would clean it up a bit and restore it to its former glory, just barely visible beneath decades of accumulated grime.