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DeKalb Ave Station Escalators Completed 62 Days Early!

Forte Construction Corp. successfully replaced the second escalator at the historic DeKalb Avenue station in Downtown Brooklyn, under budget and 62 days ahead of schedule. The station's two escalators, which link the mezzanine to the platform on its northern and southern sides, underwent repairs one at a time to minimize passenger inconvenience.

Nirmal Bharatia, who served as Forte's project manager on the job, said, "Sixty-two days ahead of schedule is a big, big achievement. It's very rare. All the support from the MTA was crucial to getting it done so speedily despite some early challenges. And we shouldn't forget the top-notch subcontractors who showed up on time and gave 100 percent to every part of this job. It's just a great feeling to complete it so fast."

As Forte managers and subcontractors undertook the replacement of the two 25-year-old escalators at the DeKalb Avenue station, they faced notable hurdles. Initially, they found the machine room pit floor submerged in water. Workers used Chemical grout to stop persistent groundwater leaks through the floor.

"People don't realize how complicated and difficult replacing an escalator is," Chris Stavrou, the project executive, said. "It's a huge undertaking that demands intensive planning, long hours, precision, and constant coordination between multiple stakeholders. Every escalator needs to be custom designed and built for that particular station because every station's structure is unique and different."

The timely completion of the project was attributed to streamlined construction methodologies, exceptional coordination between Forte management and subcontractors, and strong support from the MTA.

"This DeKalb project was all about team coordination," said MTA engineer and Project CEO Pratik Kothari. "Coordination is a very important thing, and putting all team members onto the right path can be challenging on projects with so many moving parts. We needed to work proactively with all the departments to achieve the goal in a timely fashion and within the budget."

Forte is currently preparing for the final phase of its MTA escalators project, replacing two neighboring escalators at Yankee Stadium. The work is scheduled to begin in mid-May. This initiative represents a pivotal milestone for the MTA Systemwide Escalators project, dedicated to enhancing the reliability and safety of New York City's transit system for all its residents.


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