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Our friend Brian Hedden, who runs Bay Ridge Odyssey, sent us some photos of the horrid conditions of the 18th Avenue subway station, where the ceiling’s aging plaster crumbled off the rusted skeleton this morning. Luckily no one was hurt, but just after Brian’s e-mail, as if on cue, the MTA sent out an alert saying that the northbound side of the 18th Avenue station was closed due to falling debris.

Here’s what Brian wrote:

So this is what I found this morning at the 18th Ave N-train station on the Manhattan-bound side.

You can tell someone tried to make a patchwork repair job, but I don’t know if that is new or not. Based on the fact that the rubble is still on the platform, I would guess it is an older repair attempt.

As you probably know, all the Sea Beach stations have money in the Capital Plan for a complete overhaul, at about $40 million each. The money was originally slated for 2012, but you noted at some point that it has been rebudgeted for a date somewhere in the future.

The station is literally crumbling away. I don’t even know if it is safe to stand on the platforms any more. Water pours in through the roof. The MTA finally broke down and replaced the staircases on the 18th Ave end and partially replaced them on the 17th Ave end, but the ones they didn’t replace on the 17th Ave side are in very poor condition.

The walls are a fright, but the only way to get them repainted is to cover them in anti-Semitic graffiti.

Here’s a photo of that repair job:

And a close up:

Brian is 100 percent right about the scheduled repair work for the Sea Beach line. It was originally slated to begin in 2012, but was pushed back to October 2014.

Unfortunately, we’re not so sure straphangers can wait much longer. Besides the obvious dangers of chunks of rock crashing down on people’s heads, there’s also all the delays and discomforts caused by other maintenance issues. There’s the peeling paint, cracked walls and water leaks. There’s also the rain gutters that have given up and fallen away, onto the tracks. And even bushes and trees near the tracks have become problematic.

Enough is enough. The MTA needs to begin work on rehabilitating the Sea Beach stations, starting with 18th Avenue, immediately before anyone gets hurt. And since they’ve recently found another $40 million to play with, there should be no excuses.

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  • Bensonhurster

    That repair job looks treacherous! If those brackets come loose due to further erosion, that looks like a very heavy slab that could come right down. If only our state legislators had the guts to seriously confront the systemic problems with the MTA.

  • Sean P. Fodera

    The problem with the outside stations on the N line are the overhangs. The MTA leaves them to accumulate dead leaves and dirt, where weeds and even trees grow unimpeded. The roots from those plants find their way into the cracks in the platform roof, grow, and make the cracks bigger. The solution can’t just be a one-time repair. The MTA needs to devote resources to station maintenance, which should include clearing debris and plant matter from those platform roofs on a regular basis.

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