MTA Said That New 110th Street Subway Station Was ‘On Time’ — Except the Tiles Were Put in Wrong

The MTA sent out a glowing press release just before Labor Day about how its $30 million renovation to the Cathedral Parkway subway station at 110th Street and Central Park West was finished “on time and on budget.” The agency pointed out the extensive waterproofing that the contractor had done.

And then came the first substantial rain, and lo and behold the puddles started forming.

“After a $30 million renovation, the Cathedral Parkway station offers commuters a pool of water on the entrance stairs. Great job NYCTSubway. I expect nothing less from #CuomosMTA,” wrote John, who tweets as @bronxitenyc.

The MTA acknowledged that some of the station’s tiles were installed incorrectly, and said the contractor will have to come back.

“Hi John, looked into this and yes the contractor has acknowledged some of the tiles were installed incorrectly, creating small pools of water,” wrote Sarah Meyer, the chief customer officer of NYC Transit. “They will work to replace the pitch of some of the floor tiles over the next couple of weeks and the issue will hopefully be resolved.”

John thanked Meyer, but noted the area around the stairs was cement, not tile.

There is at this point virtually no oversight of the MTA, a public state agency with an enormous budget — aside from helpful people on Twitter noticing the puddles.

NEWS | 25 comments | permalink
    1. mk says:

      wouldn’t be surprised if they broke the signal or something else while fixing the tiles.

    2. NYYgirl says:

      OMG!!!!!! Words are failing me…but I’m not surprised by this article, sadly…

    3. Juan says:

      WSR – I have always appreciated your coverage of important local stories, and 99% of the time I agree with your take on them. However, the snark such as in your last paragraph is really unnecessary – leave that to the comment section and stick to the facts.

      • ScooterStan says:

        Re: “However, the snark such as in your last paragraph is really unnecessary….stick to the facts”

        But it IS a fact that the MTA botched a $30M renovation by not providing proper oversight to the contractors being PAID to do the work.

        Just as it IS a fact that the MTA “did” the Second Avenue Subway…3 stations…at a final cost triple the cost of other cities’ ENTIRE subway lines.

        Just as it IS a fact that the MTA cannot manage to keep its elevators and escalators functioning, or that it really doesn’t care about the disabled/handicapped.

        This blog’s task is to present facts, information, and even, if warranted, opinion.

      • UWSEd says:

        Is the WSR wrong???

    4. KL says:

      I used this station the first weekend it was reopen (Labor Day) and it was very dusty, still being worked on, with heavy machinery roped off by caution tape.

      Would have preferred another week or two of delay rather than a rush job.

      I’ve continued to utilize 103 and CPW instead.

    5. Scott says:

      “John thanked Meyer, but noted the area around the stairs was cement, not tile.”

      Indeed. Maybe the MTA flack saw the reflection of the tiles in the puddle. And where in the MTA system are there floor tiles? This ain’t a freakin’ bathroom.

    6. Wijmlet says:

      They must have used our kitchen contractor.

    7. Nrm says:

      PS – $30million and still no elevator for the elderly or disabled. Shameful

      • Pedestrian says:

        AGREED! They can’t even get tile work done properly for $30 million and no elevators for the disabled! Well, I guess we need to pay the director more….

        Who is sick of this incompetence? I am.

      • SJL says:


    8. Penny says:

      Foreshadowing for 72nd and 86th…Grab your wellies while ye may.

    9. Julia S. says:


    10. Rodger Lodger says:

      The comments here are a hoot. The very same people who want big government are horrified that government gets things wrong,

      • Pedestrian says:

        “Big government”? People who complain about “big government” are often happy to see big government give the massive tax breaks or subsidize corporations like Amazon or interfer with a woman’s health care choices. I’m talking about incompetence. Government run competently can and does serve the people well and contributes to their well being with among other things good public transport.

    11. jules says:

      What exactly did this contractor do to refurbish the station?
      Such a rip-off. 30 million dollars? You gotta be kidding.
      The feds should go after these crooks.

    12. architect says:

      Great Project Management. Who signed off on this phase of the construction. Using union labor I’m sure there were 2 supervisors for every worker and still this wasn’t noticed?

    13. Sandy says:

      Why does this not surprise me! Let’s hope the contractor wasn’t paid in full yet. Correcting a patch for drainage is big work and will most probably require redoing all the concrete if they are to do it properly .

    14. Joey says:

      More smoke & mirrors. If it wasn’t done properly and equipment was still there it wasn’t done on time. Can’t wait for the zero degree winter weather to set in & those puddles freezing.

    15. William says:

      I live one block from this station and for 6 aggravating months, when I passed by, I would see groups of 5-6 workers above ground [by the Central Park wall], standing around bullshitting while only one hardhat would be doing any physical effort! You can be certain that @ $5 million/month – there are many pockets that have been lined, both private and certainly public! There should be a MAJOR investigation to recoup damages from this contractor…FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!

      • jbucko says:

        It was five months (actually a few days under); not six. The station closed on April 9th and reopened on Labor Day. Just saying.

        I, for one, am appreciative of the work completed. Yes, if there are drainage problems, they need to be addressed but as one who uses the station daily, it is a welcome update. Y’all quit yer bitchin…

    16. Zanarkand says:

      Again…it’s just MTA’s “Bath Fitters” program. They don’t actually fix anything, they just put a pretty cover over the problems. This is like a episode of Ozarks funding money through a way over priced construction project to wash it.

    17. Wendy says:

      Some tiles can be slippery when wet. I miss some of London Transport in England. What mistake doesn’t our M.T.A. make ? More of public toilets needed. Remember when the M.T.A. fre was 15 Cents, &, many folk in N.Y.C. spoke our English language ? I miss the Token Booths, &, some of the token booth clerks. Some other stairs have had pools of water….

    18. A.C. says:

      Honestly, I would’ve rather have it closed a little longer to ensure that problems like this don’t happen. Seriously. This is exactly what they did wrong with work after Sandy: They rushed it, got the trains working in 3 days, and had to do much more work after that. They should’ve just left the subway closed for the rest of the year after that, had shuttle buses running nonstop, and devote their time and resources on the subway to completely remodeling and revamping the system, they continue to rush things out for the pride and glory, and it’s only making things worse