A brand new entrance to the Upper East Side’s 68th Street-Hunter College subway station is expected to open in just days, giving thousands of Upper East Side residents another way into the bustling station which has been under construction for the past year, Upper East Site has confirmed.
The MTA tells Upper East Site that the new mid-block entrance, located on the east side of Lexington Avenue between East 68th and 69th Streets, features an extra wide staircase down to its own mezzanine level with turnstiles that accept both Metrocards and OMNY.
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Photos provided by the MTA show two Metrocard machines available on the mezzanine level, in addition to a Metrocard balance reader, as well as another set of stairs that lead directly to 68th Street-Hunter College subway station’s northbound platform.
The new entrance, located next to Metro Drugs beneath the Imperial House co-op, is part of a $146 million upgrade to the 104-year-old station that will finally bring it in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law in 1990. The space the MTA purchased inside the co-op cost five million dollars alone.
Three new elevators are also part of the renovation plans. One elevator will be installed at the north east corner of East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, while the other two will be located within the station itself, bringing passengers from the platforms to the mezzanine level.
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Those subway station improvements are still expected to be ‘substantially completed’ by December 2024.
Last week, the MTA also announced it was planning ADA upgrades to the 86th Street-Lexington Avenue station, which include an elevator that reaches the lower level express platforms. However, those improvements are still a very long way off.
During Community Board 8’s Transportation Committee meeting on Wednesday night, an MTA representative revealed that the project is currently in the design state and that the agency likely wouldn’t even have a contractor selected for the project until the end of this year.
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