BY JOE MARVILLI
After several delays, the Briarwood subway station entrance reopened this week.
The entrance of the Briarwood-Van Wyck E/F train station opened on Monday, Dec. 8. For the first time in four years, commuters will no longer have to make their way across a construction-filled Queens Boulevard to get to the E or F train.
Located near the Briarwood Library and a couple of blocks away from Archbishop Molloy High School, the entrance on Main Street is now accessible, although it is surrounded by construction. The Queens Boulevard entrance should be completed by next fall, after an overpass is rebuilt.
The new subway entrance features a stylized redesign, a widened staircase, enhanced tunnel lighting and new tile walls and flooring.
Built by the State Dept. of Transportation, the subway entrance was part of the Kew Gardens Interchange project, a $265 million undertaking meant to widen the Van Wyck Expressway, which passes directly under that section of Queens Boulevard. Due to the intersecting highways, the project encompasses not only those two roads, but also the Grand Central Parkway, the Jackie Robinson Parkway and Union Turnpike.
The original completion date for the subway entrance was listed as September 2013. It was then pushed back to December 2013 due to design changes. However, lead paint in the pedestrian tunnel has to be removed before the area is safe to open, moving the timetable back again.
The subway renovation was bid on and won by Ecco, for $9.9 million. This price tag included all of the work associated with moving the passageway, rebuilding the entrances, excavation, the new elevator and more. The cost increased by about $1.7 million due to changes in field conditions and materials used, and the lead paint removal added another $300,000 to the total.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @JoeMarvilli.