2017-10-04 / Front Page

Closing for Renovations

Local Subway Stations To Close For 8-Month Makeover
BY LIZ GOFF

Straphangers in Dutch Kills and Astoria are bracing themselves for eight months of chaos and inconvenience when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) shuts down two pivotal subway stations in the western Queens neighborhoods on October 23.

The 36th Avenue (Washington Avenue) and 30th Avenue (Grand Avenue) elevated N/W stations will be shuttered on October 23 for structural repairs and technological upgrades including the addition of Wi-Fi “hotspots,” USB ports, digital screens and countdown clocks as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to upgrade more than 30 stations across the city over the next few years.

The facelifts will also include rehabilitated station entrances, improved mezzanines and platforms, but will not include installation of elevators at the two high-traffic stations, an MTA spokesperson said. Express stations will not be affected by the shutdown.

Straphangers in Dutch Kills and Astoria are bracing themselves for eight months of chaos and inconvenience when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) shuts down two pivotal subway stations in the western Queens neighborhoods on October 23.

The 36th Avenue (Washington Avenue) and 30th Avenue (Grand Avenue) elevated N/W stations will be shuttered on October 23 for structural repairs and technological upgrades including the addition of Wi-Fi “hotspots,” USB ports, digital screens and countdown clocks as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to upgrade more than 30 stations across the city over the next few years.

The facelifts will also include rehabilitated station entrances, improved mezzanines and platforms, but will not include installation of elevators at the two high-traffic stations, an MTA spokesperson said. Express stations will not be affected by the shutdown.

“This is about more than just doing repair and maintain,” Cuomo said. “This is thinking bigger and better and building the 21st century transit system New Yorkers deserve. We are modernizing the MTA like never before and improving it for years to come.”

The two stations were closed for track work for eight weekends this summer. That work wrapped up just weeks ago.

The facelifts are intended to “completely renew” the stations, making them cleaner, brighter and easier to navigate, Cuomo said.

MTA officials said work at the 36th Avenue and 30th Avenue stations is expected to take no longer than eight months, and the stations should reopen in June 2018.

Straphangers who use the 36th Avenue station have several travel options during the shutdown. They can use the Broadway or 39th Avenue station, or the 36th Street E/M/R station, with entrances on 35th and 36th Streets at Northern Boulevard.

Riders who use the 30th Avenue station can walk north, to the Astoria Boulevard station or, if you live near Steinway Street you can catch the M/R at Steinway Street, between 34th Avenue and Broadway.

Straphangers might also consider taking a bus, watchdogs say. Here are some bus options:

Q101: This bus travels along Steinway Street from 20th Avenue to the Queens Plaza transportation hub, where you can pick up the No. 7 line, the N, W, E, M or R. The Q101 also travels over the Queensborough Bridge to 58th Street near 1st Avenue.

Q102: You can catch this bus on 30th Avenue near 31st Street and take it to the Queens Plaza transportation hub, (see options above.)

Q69: Catch this bus on 21st Street near 30th Avenue and take it to the Queens Plaza transportation hub.

Stranded straphangers can also visit Citi Bike online to get the location of bike stations near 30th or 36th Avenue. Hint: Citi Bike recently installed a new station on 37th Avenue between 35th and 36th Streets.

Riders living near Crescent Street and 30th Avenue can take the scenic route – the Astoria Ferry. For times and prices visit www.ferry.nyc.

Riders can always take a cab, watchdogs said. Green cabs are always available at locations along 31st Street. Ask the driver for the cost of a ride to Queens Plaza before you get into the cab, and report overpricing to the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, watchdogs said.

Signs announcing the October 23 closure will be posted at the 36th Avenue and 30th Avenue stations in about two weeks, an MTA spokesperson said.

When work is completed on the 36th and 30th Avenue stations in June 2018, two other N/W stations on the same elevated line will shut down for modernization, an MTA spokesperson said.

The 39th Avenue (Beebe Avenue) and Broadway stations will be shuttered for seven months starting July 2018. That work should be completed by February 2019, according to the MTA.

Closing the stations for months at a time allows crews to complete the makeovers more quickly, according to the MTA. Otherwise, the stations would have to be closed nights and weekends for as long as three years, an MTA spokesperson said. “No one likes it when their station is closed, but it’s far better than our other options.”

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