The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the completion of the elevator replacement project at the 181 St  station. The project included the full replacement of four elevators at the station, providing direct access to the northbound platform. Also included in this project was the installation of a new LiftNet system that will improve incident response time and a battery back-up system that will allow customers to exit the station by elevators, even during a power outage. A new CCTV camera system was installed, including two CCTV cameras per elevator along with a new fire alarm system.  
The completion at 181 St signals the end of the broader elevator replacement work at five separate “deep” stations in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. For many customers, the elevators are utilized both for accessing the subway as well as more easily traversing the neighborhood’s unique, steep topography.
“This work was completed three months early, accelerating benefits to our riders,” said Jamie Torres-Springer, President of MTA Construction & Development. “It’s a testament to our delivery improvement approach, which will get projects done cheaper and more efficiently to reduce impacts on customers throughout the MTA network.” 
“This was a vital project that will greatly benefit the Washington Heights community for years to come,” said Craig Cipriano, NYC Transit Interim President. “Reliable access and high functioning elevators to our deeper stations is critical to serving the riders of this community. The fact that we were able to complete work in a shorter period is a big win all around.” 
The 181 St station opened in 1906 and is listed on the U.S. Register of Historic Places. Elevators in the station reach a depth of 122 feet below ground. The station was closed during construction. Alternate bus service was provided throughout the duration of the project in close consultation with community leaders and elected officials. 
The Authority previously completed elevator replacements on the  line at 168 St in 2019 and most recently 191 St on the line. The replacement work at 181 St was originally slated to begin in March 2021 but was accelerated to a December 2020 start following the early completion of the replacement efforts at 191 St
On the  line, replacements were completed at the 181 St station. At 190 St, all three elevators were replaced with two already operating, and the final elevator is expected to be put in service in the near future. 
“I commend the MTA on today’s announcement to reopen the 181 Street  Station following completion of elevator replacements that was not only completely successfully, but ahead of the anticipated timeframe to provide upgraded services and direct access to our residents,” said U.S. Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “The station sits at the center of an important transit hub adjacent to the vibrant 181st St. commercial district, a number of bus connections to the Bronx, and a number of schools. The MTA worked closely with my office and other local leaders to make certain that alternative transit services were available for residents and our neighbors who regularly use the station.” 
“Thanks to the MTA for completing this important project that will serve the Washington Heights community, who rely on the subway to get them where they need to go,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the NYC Council Committee on Transportation. “This project upgrades historic stations that have long been needed of renovations, and now that they are finished tens of thousands of riders will get the benefits every week.”
“In a city constantly on the move, accessibility is crucial. So many people, especially our seniors, the disabled, and young families, rely on our public transit system and transit accessibility to help them get to where they need to go,” said Assembly Member Al Taylor. “For many New Yorkers, subway stations with elevators are a major part of trip planning. The replacement of these elevators was long overdue and vital to ensuring the safety of everyone using them. I am thrilled they will once again be in service and available to anyone who wishes to use them.  We must do all we can to ensure greater transit accessibility throughout New York City so no one is left behind.”
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