Bay Ridge's 53rd Street station on the R line reopened Friday after a six months of renovation. 

Bay Ridge’s 53rd Street station on the R line reopened Friday after a six months of renovation.

(Kevin C Downs/For New York Daily News)

The R train won’t arrive at the 53rd St. station in Brooklyn any faster, but at least the accommodations have improved.The 53rd St. stop in Sunset Park on Friday was the first station to reopen after a six-month makeover as part of Gov. Cuomo’s 33-station rehab initiative.

Yosendivel Medina, 21, said the station "looks amazing."

Yosendivel Medina, 21, said the station “looks amazing.”

(Kevin C Downs/For New York Daily News)

The station got new lighting, USB charging ports, countdown clocks, leaning benches, and digital information screens. There is also new mosaic artwork from a Brooklyn-based artist, Mickalene Thomas.

On the sidewalk, crews installed a canopy with a countdown clock mounted above the staircase.

“It looks amazing,” said Sunset Park resident Yosendivel Medina, 21, a culinary student. “I feel like I’m in Manhattan.”

Another benefit for Medina — her closest station is back in service.

A new directional line map on the wall at the station.

A new directional line map on the wall at the station.

(Kevin C Downs/For New York Daily News)

“Now I can wake up late,” she said.

Sheila Pisciotta, 57, paid the $2.75 fare just to see the new station with her husband John.

“It’s great for the neighborhood. It makes it feel welcoming,” Pisciotta said. “I’ve seen he worst. Now I’ve seen the best.”

The next stations undergoing renovations to open are Prospect Ave. and Bay Ridge Ave. on the R line.

The reopening also attracted subway buffs eager to see a rare sight in New York — a modern subway station.

Clement McClean, a 17-year-old computer engineering student at City College with time to kill, swung by the new station after learning from friends that it had finally opened.

A new mosaic from Brooklyn-based artist, Mickalene Thomas adorns the wall in the renovated station.

A new mosaic from Brooklyn-based artist, Mickalene Thomas adorns the wall in the renovated station.

(Kevin C Downs/For New York Daily News)

The glass barriers near the turnstiles and station booth caught his eye.

“It makes the station feel open,” McClean said.

Just under six months ago, work began on the 53rd Street R station to make it better…faster…stronger. Today, straphangers can reap the rewards of having to walk further for a transit option for around six months, as the new and improved 53rd Street stop is now open and features things like new benches, countdown clocks, artwork and of course, USB ports. You know, for millennials!

Wielding a Publishers Clearinghouse-esque comically oversized MetroCard, MTA Managing Director Ronnie Hakim ceremonially swiped in to the new station (before swiping in with a normal-sized MetroCard) to open it yesterday morning. Hakim then showed off a number of the station improvements, including an electronic display board showing service changes, clear glass at the station entrances to provide more light underground, new mosaic art from Brooklyn artist Mickalene Thomas and even plugged her phone into one of the USB ports.

“We got the job done quickly and efficiently. Our teams worked day and night to complete work on this extensively renovated station in just a little over five months,” Hakim said in a statement announcing the station reopening. “As a result, customers who use the station will now have a wide array of new tools to manage their commutes, including digital screens, countdown clocks located before the turnstiles and on the platforms, USB ports, and Wi-Fi connectivity.”

One of the new benches in the renovated station. (Patrick Cashin/MTA)

According to a press release from the MTA, the work on the station was completed ahead of schedule, thanks in part through the use of a design-build contract, which puts a single team in charge of both the design of the station and its construction. That same process is being used in the other subway stations where similar improvements are slated to take made.

The Bay Ridge Avenue and Prospect Avenue R stations are both currently undergoing the same work, and should both reopen by the end of the year.

Larry Sitbon is awarded “The M Award” given to a professional who has exemplified the basic tenets and principles of mentoring, diversity and inclusion in his work within the construction industry.

Mary Blando is awarded “WBC’s 2017 Outstanding Women in the Building Industry Award”.

Julianna Piazzola and Danielle Arcuri are awarded “WBC’s 2017 Next Generation of Women Builders Award”.

2017-05-1618-45-22 2017-05-1616-44-41

2016 Brick In Architecture Awards Competition Announcement to Winners

Best in Class Award IS-230

Project Information

Information Contents
Award: Best in Class
Sub-Category: Education – K-12
Entry Name: Intermediate School 230Q Annex
Project City: Queens
Project State: New York
General Project Overview: Intermediate School 230Q Annex is a four-story which will relieve overcrowding in the existing middle school located across the street by accommodating 432 middle-school students. The Annex also has a special education classroom, reading resource room, two science lab demo classrooms with lab prep rooms, an art classroom, exercise room, a library, kitchen, administrative offices, and other support spaces. The steel-framed and concrete slab structure with a brick and block vented cavity wall exterior is a common construction type for new freestanding schools in New York City. What makes the Annex unique is the contextually appropriate decorative use of new clay brick. The project site is located within the Jackson Heights New York State Historic District in Queens and the local built environment inspired the brick detailing for the Annex. An additional lot nearby was secured by the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) for a new play yard. Design features include walls with decorative piers using brick matching the nearby Annex and wrought iron fencing. The school also conforms to the requirements of the (SCA) Green Schools Guide for design, construction and operation.
Green Building: The school conforms to the requirements of the NYC School Construction Authority’s Green Schools Guide for design, construction and operation. Masonry Units added to the Recycled and Regionally Extracted Materials credit narrative.
Architect Firm Name: John Ciardullo, P.C.
Builder Name: Citnalta Construction Corp.
Brick Manufacturer Name: Watsontown Brick Manufacturer
Brick Manufacturer Name: Redland Brick Inc.
Brick Distributor Name: Belden Tri-State Building Materials
Photographer Name: Anna-Marie Kellen

By Alfonso Castillo

An artist rendering of the new Hicksville LIRR station. Photo Credit: AECOM

The MTA has finalized a $57 million deal that it says will shave more than a year off of its planned overhaul of its busiest LIRR station on Long Island — Hicksville.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board last week unanimously approved the $56.7 million contract to the joint venture of Railroad Construction Company/Citnalta to rehabilitate the 55-year old station.

The work will include installing new platforms, canopy roofs, drainage systems, platform waiting rooms, staircases, escalators, lighting, and signs. The work is part of a larger $120 million effort at the station that will include the construction of more than 3,000 feet of new track to connect to a nearby train storage area.

Although initially slated to take nearly three years, the LIRR said, by taking one track and platform out of service for most of the summer of 2017, it expects to be able to finish the work in 22 months.

“Hicksville station is the LIRR’s third busiest station — topped only by Penn and Jamaica — and it’s a key transfer point for customers on the Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma branches,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement. “To have such an important transportation hub encumbered by construction for three years was out of the question.”

Work on the project is expected to begin in July.

Citnalta Construction Corp.

Award accepted by Michael Gargiulo, President

Since 1973, Citnalta Construction Corp. has completed numerous projects involving preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings and structures throughout New York City. In addition, Citnalta has a history of completing historic transit structures and stations for the MTA. As President of Citnalta Construction Corp., Michael Gargiulo, together with his partner Larry Sitbon and Citnalta’s entire leadership team, brings Citnalta’s core values of integrity, hard work, passion and professionalism to every project. Citnalta is also committed to diversity in the construction industry and prides itself on working with both the MTA and NY City School Construction Authority on their mentor programs that seek to enlarge the pool of qualified MWBEs capable of bidding on each agency’s projects.


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