By Maria Rocha-Buschel
A new entrance at Avenue A has opened for the First Avenue L station on the south side of East 14th Street, the MTA announced on Monday. The agency also said that the south entrance at First Avenue will be closed starting on Tuesday, November 11 for structural reconstruction.
The revised timeline for the work at First Avenue was designed to open the new entrances at Avenue A as quickly as possible with temporary finishes and then close the entrances at First Avenue for reconstruction on a phased schedule. Two entrances will be open at all times at the station, with the new entrance on the south side of East 14th at Avenue A open while the south side on First Avenue is closed.
The new entrance for the north side of East 14th Street at Avenue A has not opened yet and the MTA hasn’t announced when that entrance will be available, but the new platform-to-street elevators on either side of East 14th Street at Avenue A are estimated to be open by next summer, ahead of schedule.
Once the project is complete, Avenue A will have four street entrances, with two on each side of East 14th Street, as well as an elevator on each side of the street. A new substation near Avenue B that is also part of the project will make it possible for the MTA to run more trains on the L.
Under the original plan, street restoration on 14th Street was expected to be finished by next May but under the early timeline, most of the work at Avenue A is expected to be completed by January and work zones will be limited to areas like the First Avenue entrances and the elevators.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office announced in October that the tunnel rehabilitation work on the L train was ahead of schedule and is expected to be finished in 12 months instead of the projected 15 to 18 months. Although related, the work on the entrances and for the elevators is technically a separate project, but the MTA specified that those projects are also ahead of schedule.
The MTA hasn’t announced yet when the Avenue A entrance on the north side will be opened, but once it becomes available, the First Avenue entrance on the north side will be closed for structural repairs a week later. The work on the entrances at First Avenue is expected to be finished by next April, at which point the entrances at Avenue A will be closed again for final finishes. The MTA has not announced when all entrances for the station will be open and functional.
Street restoration for the work on the new substation at East 14th Street and Avenue B is expected to be complete at the northwest corner by next spring, at which point approximately 15 parking spaces will be restored.
The MTA said that street restoration should be done near the new entrance at the northwest corner of East 14th and Avenue A by mid-November before the entrance and new elevator open there. About 30 parking spaces will be restored next spring and the work zone area will be reduced to the area around the elevator starting in December.
The L project includes rehabilitation of the Canarsie tunnel, which was damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The work also includes infrastructure improvements to support L train service and station improvements to increase accessibility and improve public spaces on the L, as well as stations on the JMZ that provide alternative service options during the L project.
The MTA has not announced when the entrances on the north side of East 14th Street at Avenue A will be open.