The station, which serves the 2 and 3 trains, is only accessible by elevator because it is a “deep cavern station,” according to the MTA. Customers will be directed to nearby stations and local bus service will be enhanced during construction.
The start and end dates will be announced after the contract is awarded later this year.
“This plan reduced the length of construction time at Clark Street to just eight months, and eliminates uncertainty for our customers,” New York City Transit President Andy Byford said in a statement. “We strongly feel our approach minimizes the impact that this disruption will cause.”
NYCT presented the community with alternatives that would have led to repair work lasting 22 to 24 months, the MTA said. Under that alternative, train service would be maintained, and technicians would have worked on one elevator at a time.
But because two elevators are needed to safely maintain train service on a station that lacks stairway access, NYCT would have had to “suddenly and unpredictably” suspend train service whenever one of the two remaining elevators was taken out of service.
The three elevators have been in service for a century.
The upper level of the station will remain open and be accessible to customers. To minimize impact on local businesses, the MTA is considering installing and maintaining windscreens on fences and barricades around all work zones.
It’s also considering incorporating business and wayfinding signage so pedestrians know that businesses on the block are open during construction.
Customers can walk to the High Street station serving the A and C lines or the Borough Hall-Court Street subway complex to access the 2, 3, 4, 5 and R trains.
In 2018, 17 passengers were trapped inside an elevator at the Clark Street station for nearly an hour. They only escaped after an FDNY crew arrived and used two ladders to help the riders climb out.
Local elected officials then called on the MTA to take immediate action on the elevators.
“The public can look forward to new elevators with improved reliability,” Byford said. “We will continue to work in close collaboration with the community during the duration of this project.”