Monday, April 21, 2014

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Central Avenue M Train Station Set To Reopen Friday Afternoon

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TWC News: Central Avenue M Train Station Set To Reopen Friday Afternoon
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It won't be back in time for the morning rush, but a Bushwick subway station is set to reopen Friday after being closed for five months of work. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

The M train still runs through the Central Avenue station, but starting Friday afternoon, it will once again stop there, too.

The station is set to reopen at 4 p.m. following a five-month, $11 million makeover that's added new covered staircases leading into the station and onto the platforms, as well as a renovated mezzanine. There's new artwork on the platform, too.

"It was in sorry shape, and we've been able to come in and efficiently and quickly restore it to a state of good repair," said MTA Vice President Lois Tendler.

The station rehab is part of $47 million in federally funded work being done at five stops along the M, whose ridership has soared since it was rerouted in 2010. Close to 1 million riders used the Central Avenue station in 2012, up from 620,000 five years earlier.

"It was desperately needed and very timely, the fact that they renewed the entire station," said state Senator Martin Malave Dilan of Brooklyn. "And it's just pleasant-looking."

"This was unattractive, deplorable, and today, what we have is a safer, attractive train station, one that we can be proud of," said City Councilwoman Diana Reyna of Brooklyn.

In its absence, riders have had to walk long blocks from the nearby Knickerbocker Avenue station, which reopened in February after undergoing its own renovation.

It's not just riders who have been affected by the station's closing. The businesses next to the elevated train tracks say they've also taken a big hit.

At the OMG Pizzeria on Myrtle Avenue, one worker said he was looking forward to serving up slices to commuters walking home from the train.

"Can't wait," he said. "It's been real tough on us."

Things weren't much better at the Central Deli Express.

"We got affected because we lost like 50 percent of the income for the business," one worker said.

The reopening of the station comes at the right time for one art gallery operator.

"This should be great for business. I'm very excited. You just gave me good news. I didn't know it was opening," the art gallery operator said.

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