MTA New York City Transit (NYC Transit) announced that a project to bring full wheelchair and stroller accessibility to the 86 St R station will begin this month.

“I have said from Day One of my tenure that improving accessibility is one of my four top priorities, and I’m pleased to see this station moving us ahead on that goal,” said NYC Transit President Andy Byford. “We will continue to review the entire system and study how we can bring greater accessibility to the New York City Subway.”

The 86 St R project will add elevators and reconfigure station infrastructure — such as handrails, turnstiles and powered gates, Braille signage, and platform panels — for full accessibility. Two new elevators, one connecting the street to the mezzanine and the other from the mezzanine to the platform, will provide access to the entire station. In addition, the station agent booth will be modified to a wheelchair-friendly height and new sidewalk pedestrian ramps will be installed. The project also involves building and reconfiguring existing crew and equipment rooms to accommodate new electrical and mechanical infrastructure required for the elevators. More than 12,000 weekday customers use the station.

Work on this project will begin this month, and the elevators will become operational in 2020. The station will remain open for regular weekday service during the construction, with occasional closures on some weekends and weeknights to accommodate work that requires platform or track access.

The MTA awarded the $17.9 million contract, which includes incentives for early completion, to El Sol Contracting in December 2017.

Currently, 118 stations are wheelchair accessible, and 25 more are currently in progress to become so. Nearly $5 billion has been invested to make subway stations accessible, including $1.4 billion in the 2015-19 MTA capital program. The 2015-19 capital program also includes $479 million to replace 42 existing elevators and 27 escalators. Future capital programs will include funding for additional stations.

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