Brooklyn Churches Say Subway Vibrations Causing Headaches, Damage

"You actually in your pew feel like you're riding the train," said one monsignor

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    Two Brooklyn congregations say their buildings are cracking because of all the vibrating. Andrew Siff reports. (Published Thursday, May 8, 2014)

    Clergymen at two churches in Brooklyn say vibrations from the nearby subway are causing headaches and building damage, and are asking the MTA to hurry and finish its work to correct the problem.

    Monsignors at St. Anselm Roman Catholic Church and Our Lady of Angels in Bay Ridge say they began noticing the increased vibration from trains along the Fourth Avenue R line last November. The churches are both on Fourth Avenue, about 10 blocks apart.
    At St. Anselm, Monsignor John Maloney said the 80-year-old church has new cracks in its facade.
    "You actually in your pew feel like you're riding the train," he said.
    Residents in the neighborhood also say the rumbling has worsened. 
    "The whole house starts shaking," said Anne Hennessy, who has lived in Bay Ridge since the 1950s.
    The MTA says it performed vibration tests in the area during November and December after getting complaints from residents and businesses. Tests were done at St. Anselm in January.
    The MTA said the tests revealed "slightly elevated" vibrations but not at a level to cause structural damage. 
    "In order to rectify the situation, we are close to completing rail maintenance in that area," the MTA said.
    The MTA said work includes replacing tie blocks, replacing parts of the track and installing welded rail that had to be manufactured elsewhere.