After renovations that went on far longer than expected, the key Smith-9th Street Station, which is on the F and G subway lines in Brooklyn, finally reopened Friday morning.
The station, which serves residents of Red Hook, Gowanus, and Carroll Gardens, recently underwent a two-year, $32 million renovation.
Originally scheduled to take nine months to complete, it wound up taking two years due to issues with the contractor and the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
"Now it's no secret that we all think this work should have been done sooner. And we're really grateful for the community's patience. But here we are. Better late than, you know," said Acting MTA Chairman Fernando Ferrer.
Many residents had no other mass transit options and said they were frustrated with the delays.
"It's saving me having to walk all the way to Carroll Street. This is the easiest way. Just hop on right here. I'm so excited for this train station right now," said one subway rider.
"Finally. Wow! The nightmare is over. We need to go in and enjoy the train station," said another subway rider.
Improvements to the 79-year-old station -- the highest elevated subway station in the world -- include new lighting, rehabilitated stairs and platforms and a new public address system.
It's part of a $389 million project to rehabilitate the entire line known as the Culver Viaduct which runs from Carroll Street to 4th Avenue over the Gowanus Canal.
"A structure that will support four tracks, two subway lines and two stations. And by the end of the year, the black netting that you see outside this station will finally be gone," said Acting NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco.
The station re-opening is also good news to merchants downstairs at street level. They say business has been down while the station was closed.
Line Bagels Manager Victor Carino says the project took too long, but he's glad it's finally done.
"You can't fix something like that in nine months, no way, it wasn't possible, I get it. But no point in complaining now," Carino said.