MTA shed has turned NYC block into a rat-infested nightmare: locals



The MTA is known for running behind schedule — but this is ridiculous!

At least six months after the agency’s L train tunnel rehab was finished, a curbside storage yard for the project by Brooklyn’s Bedford Avenue stop still hasn’t been removed — and locals say it’s turned into a trash-infested eyesore that’s caused a major rat problem in the area.

“I’ve lived here since 1992. I’m not someone who complains about every little thing. It’s New York, you expect it to be dirty,” said Joe Weisbord, 62, whose house abuts the 150-foot fenced-in construction site on North Seventh Street in Williamsburg.

“But the noise and the rats, it’s too much.”

The fenced-in site, which contains a wooden shed and a dumpster filled with debris, has been on the block since 2017 as part of the L train fix-up, according to locals. The project included station upgrades at Bedford Avenue and significant construction on the Canarsie Tunnel, which is directly to the station’s east.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the completion of the project last April, and locals say work on the station itself appeared to wrap up in October — leaving neighbors wondering when the longstanding nuisance will let up.

The construction site has been on the Williamsburg block since 2017.
The construction site has been on the Williamsburg block since 2017.
Stephen Yang

“It’s great that they repaired the tracks, that they repaired the station, did the upgrades,” Weisbord said. “But they completed the station work in October and it’s six months later and they’re still here.”

Worse, workers are still active at the site — and neighbors can’t figure out why.

“We call it the construction site without a site,” said Evelyn Volpe, 56, who lives around the corner. “There are workers here every day bright and early. There’s equipment. There’s noise. There’s definitely work going on. All that’s missing is the project itself.”

Locals blame the rat infestation in part on the constant presence of the workers’ parked personal cars, which they say prevents street-sweeping.

“Last fall and last summer you virtually couldn’t walk down the street without a rat running over your feet,” Charlotte Benson, 60, told The Post.

“We’re real city dwellers. We’re not babies expecting things to be quiet all the time. But the thing about this is, they’ve been finished with the Bedford stop since October and this thing remains,” she said.

Benson said her frequent complaints to the MTA had fallen on deaf ears. A local city councilman’s office recently relayed a message from the transit authority that the “small storage yard … is acting as a storage location as [workers] complete all remaining minor items at the station.”

“There’s been no conversation with the locals as to why it’s there or how long it will be there,” Benson said.

“Is this a permanent installation? We don’t know.”

MTA spokesman Andrei Berman said the authority’s footprint on North Seventh Street had shrunk in recent weeks, and that the entire encampment would be gone in a few months.

Berman said the contractors are “actively baiting” the area to eliminate rats and “working to keep it clean.” He said “electeds and community members” have been updated on the status of the site.

“We have significantly reduced the size of the staging area and removed any debris as the Post knows, and we expect the staging area to be gone by the end of spring,” Berman said in a statement.


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