Proposed Changes to the 68 St-Hunter College Station Improvement Project

Information about the environmental re-evaluation of the alternative elevator location proposed for 68 Street-Hunter College Station improvement project

In February 2016, MTA C&D prepared the Environmental Assessment and Proposed Section 4(f) De Minimis Impact Finding. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approved the project by issuing a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on July 28, 2016.  (Read more details.)

Since that time, engineering design has advanced. During design development, it was determined that significant structural modifications (including re-supporting the structure, re-directing loads, and removing a floor/changing a floor elevation) would be required to install an elevator under the northwest corner of Hunter College East Building located southeast of the intersection of East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue.

By relocating street stair and elevator improvements from the southeast corner to the northeast corner of the intersection of East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, the structural engineering concerns can be avoided.

MTA C&D is re-evaluating the project (with the proposed changes) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and submitting the re-evaluation to the FTA for review.  Initial re-evaluation of the proposed project changes did not identify new or significant adverse impacts than those identified in the 2016 Environmental Assessment. Potential impacts on historic and private property would be reduced.  Potentially adverse effects on street pedestrian and vehicular traffic would be non-existent or minimal. The following modifications to the Approved Project are being proposed:

  1. Installation of a new street elevator on the northeast corner of East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue.  The elevator would be located within a new sidewalk bulb-out, within the north parking lane of East 68th Street, east of Lexington Avenue. The new sidewalk bulb-out would not reduce the number of traffic travel lanes but would eliminate approximately four parking spaces.  The new bulb-out would not affect any bike lanes or bus stop locations.  
  2. The previously approved East 68th Street elevator location within the northwest corner of the Hunter College East Building at the southeast corner of East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue would not be constructed. Also, the previously approved changes to the existing street stair O2/O4 located at the southeast corner of this intersection would not be constructed, the future stair would remain the same as existing conditions.
  3. Reconstruction of the street stair S4 at the northeast corner of East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue within the new sidewalk bulb-out and with approximately 10 feet of separation from the Imperial Building.  The stairs would be east of the proposed Street Level ADA-Compliant Elevator and would be wider relative to the previously Approved Project.
  4. The previously approved option for a new bulb-out sidewalk and station entrance stair on East 69th east of Lexington Avenue would not be constructed.  
  5. No changes are proposed for the previously approved option for a new 69th Street stair/station entrance at the southwest corner of the 69th Street and Lexington Avenue intersection.
  6. No changes are proposed for the previously approved new mid-block entrance and stairs in the retail space at 931 Lexington Avenue.
  7. Per NYCDOT review request, ADA compliant curb ramps would be installed at all four corners of East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue and the catch basin and manhole affected by the new curb extension bulb-out would be relocated.
  8. No changes to Approved Project at platform level.

Invitation for Public Comments

This page is part of the public notification of MTA C&D's proposed plan to install the new Street Level ADA-Compliant Elevator on the sidewalk at the northeast corner of East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue as an alternative to the approved ADA improvements to the 68th Street/Hunter College Station project. In accordance with 23 C.F.R. 771.129 {Re-evaluations}, MTA C&D is re-evaluating the project with the proposed changes in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and submitting the re-evaluation to the FTA for review.

Public Review

Our intention to present to Manhattan Community Board 8 on the proposed elevator relocation on October 7 has been temporarily postponed. We will reschedule this presentation for the next available meeting, which is now anticipated for late 2020.

The presentation will include illustrations and descriptions of the proposed modifications to the Approved Project, as well as the overall benefits of the proposed modifications to the Approved Project.

You’re invited to submit online comments here. All written comments must be submitted by October 14, 2020.

Comments may also be submitted via postal mail to:

MTA Government & Community Relations
ATTN: 68 St-Hunter College Station Improvements NEPA Re-evaluation
2 Broadway, B20.81
New York, NY 11104