Chelsea residents protest planned MTA substation as construction starts at Penn South

(THE VILLAGER) By Ben Brachfeld, January 16, 2023

Construction kicked off Monday on a new electrical substation for the MTA’s 8th Avenue subway line in Chelsea over the very public fury of some residents at a co-op complex directly above the site.

Ground has been broken for the new substation, on West 28th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, within Penn South, a 5,000-resident co-op development composed of 10 towers, with an especially large senior population.

The MTA says that the new substation is necessary to support an expected boost in service capacity on the 8th Avenue line once the agency fully installs modern communication-based train control (CBTC) signaling on the A/C/E between Columbus Circle and High Street in Brooklyn Heights. Both CBTC and the substation — situated about halfway between existing stations at 59th Street and Greenwich Street — are expected to be installed and online by 2025; the substation project is budgeted to cost $80 million, the MTA says.

But many area residents, particularly those living in Penn South, are bitterly opposed to the project. Several dozen  of them turned up Monday morning for a protest and march along 8th Avenue, parading up to Penn Station while chanting “No way, MTA!” in the hopes of getting the authority to back off.

Penn South is recognized as a naturally-occurring retirement community and is home to thousands of seniors — many of whom worry about potential interruptions to electrical service, years of noise and disruption, and even potential catastrophes as the project gets underway.

Source: The Villager