After a delayed renovation, Brooklyn's Smith & Ninth Street subway station is back in service.
"It's no secret that we all thought that this work should have been done sooner and we're very glad for the community's patience," Fernando Ferrer, MTA acting chairman, said Friday.
It took two years, not the nine months the MTA first promised, to fix the 79-year-old Carroll Gardens F and G train station. Adam Lisberg, MTA spokesman, said that delayed contracts and damage from superstorm Sandy prevented workers from completing repairs on time. The station served 1.5 million customers in 2010, according to the MTA.
In addition to repairing tracks, walls and support beams, the MTA installed new stairs, escalators, lighting and announcement systems. New artwork, inspired by sailing ship blueprints and maritime navigation, also was added. Lisberg said the total cost was $32 million, which matches the initial projection.
The platforms at the city's highest-elevated station soon filled with locals eager to use it Friday.
"I like the windows, the prints and everything. It's gorgeous. But the best part is having it back," said Roseanne Tartas, from another part of Brooklyn, who uses the station frequently.
Another rider was less enthusiastic. "Honestly, I'm not that impressed by it. It's all right. I forgot how high up it was," said Adam Fine from Red Hook. He said not having the train for two years was very inconvenient.
The MTA's plan for the station never included an elevator, which would have made the renovation longer and costlier, Ferrer said.
The repair is part of a broader plan to renovate that sector of infrastructure on the F train around the Gowanus Canal.