MTA to address rotting IRT 6 train signal house

An MTA vehicle sits under an old signal tower near the No. 6 subway line at the corner of Westchester Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue to catch debris that might fall on the street.
Photo Courtesy of Robert Christie

The Metropolitan Transit Authority may finally be addressing an area of concern for many Pelham Bay residents.

MTA workers were seen on Tuesday, April 4 at the corner of Westchester Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, tidying up the old signal tower next to the downtown IRT 6 Pelham Bay Park el.

For years, Pelham Bay pedestrians and business owners have complained about the debris – which includes large metal nail spikes – that falls on the sidewalk from the deteriorating tower during bad weather.

According to Michele Torrioni, a member of the Pelham Bay Taxpayers, the Pelham Bay community notified Senator Jeff Klein about the issue as early as 2010.

Klein then wrote a letter to then MTA chairman Jay Walder about the problem requesting some sort of help with the issue.

According to the letter, Klein asked that the signal house be demolished as soon as possible.

“Nearly seven years later the safety threats remain as the abandoned signal house still sits in despair,” Klein said in a statement to the Bronx Times. “Before somebody gets seriously injured, I urge the MTA to either stabilize or outright remove the dilapidated structure.”

“It’s been quite a while since they said they were going to do something about it,” Torrioni said in reference to the MTA.

Torrioni questioned what took so long for the MTA to make a move but couldn’t fathom a reason that the signal house was still there.

“They should have maintained it or done something with it,” she said.

“If they’re starting to do something about it that’s awesome – that’s great news,” said Torrioni.

She continued, “To be honest, if it’s not being used for any reason I don’t know why they wouldn’t take it down at this point.”

She said people commonly walk near the signal tower when they head to Key Foods supermarket or Balsamo Funeral Home.

The MTA told the Bronx Times it was finally ready to dismantle the unused structure..

“There is a standing contract to remove the tower that was to begin in June,” said an MTA spokesperson. “We are looking to move that date up. In the meantime, infrastructure personnel are working to remove any loose debris from the area.”

Reach Reporter Robert Christie at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at rchristie@cnglocal.com.
The old signal tower.
Photo Courtesy of Robert Christie

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