MTA Press Releases

Press Release
March 5, 2019
IMMEDIATE
Astoria Blvd Station to Temporarily Close for ADA Elevator Project, Mezzanine Height Improvement & Reconstruction

Station Mezzanine to be Demolished and Rebuilt to Limit Vehicle Strikes;

Video Explaining Work on Entire Astoria Line is Available Here

 

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is reminding customers that the Astoria Blvd N SubwayW Subway station will close at 10 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, for nine months as New York City Transit begins a multi-phase project to add four new elevators and other accessibility features, as well as demolish and rebuild the station mezzanine with more vertical clearance to prevent strikes by trucks and other over-height vehicles traveling below the station structure. 

“We’ve been on a steady march of improvement work on the entire Astoria Line to increase reliability and improve safety and the customer experience, and this elevator project is a huge win for our customers,” said MTA New York City Transit President Andy Byford. “Raising the height of the station is also vitally important for our train service and structure as well as the vehicles that use the streets below those elevated tracks.”  

NYC Transit has been repairing and rehabilitating stations, switches and track structure throughout the length of the entire elevated Astoria N SubwayW Subway line, replacing deteriorated structural steel, installing new sections of track panels and repairing platforms, stairs and mezzanines to bring century-old stations to a state of good repair. So far, NYC Transit has completed repairs and renovations at the 30 Av, 36 Av, 39 Av-Dutch Kills and Broadway stations. Crews also replaced thousands of feet of tracks and 10 switches along the line to address deteriorating track components and reduce train noise. 

The work at the Astoria Blvd station encompasses the installation of four elevators and their related facility rooms, an assortment of accessibility features, the demolition of the existing station mezzanine and the construction of a newly designed structurally reinforced station mezzanine that will have more vertical clearance to reduce the number of strikes by trucks driving beneath the elevated structure. These vehicle strikes can damage the track structure, requiring personnel to make manual inspections so that trains can operate safely and that no critical operational infrastructure, such as tracks, switches or signals, is damaged. These manual inspections, and any damage caused by each vehicle strike, delay service and can incur costly repairs or maintenance as a result. 

The Astoria Blvd work began in September 2018 while trains continued service at the station. The construction has moved forward to a phase requiring the full closure of the station for the next nine months. When the project is completed in late 2020, the Astoria Blvd station will have two street-to-mezzanine elevators, two mezzanine-to-platform elevators, a new station mezzanine, repaired or replaced structural columns and foundations, repaired concrete platform surfaces, new street and platform stairs, new platform stair enclosures, and new platform canopies and mezzanine overpass walkway canopies. Lights, signs and gates will also be replaced. The new station structure will be reinforced to support the weight of the new elevators and facilities. 

The elevator installation project will address platform gaps and install boarding areas, stairs, railings, and other elements of the station that meet ADA standards.  Elevators will provide greater access to the Astoria N SubwayW Subway line for wheelchair customers and customers with suitcases transferring to and from the M60 Select Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport. 

The project will overlap with scheduled weekend track work on the Astoria Line that begins Saturday, March 16. Beginning Sunday, March 17, Astoria Blvd customers can use the nearby Ditmars Blvd and 30 Av stations as alternate subway service. During limited periods of scheduled work affecting the track structure, N Subway and W Subway trains will terminate at Queensboro Plaza, and alternate Astoria Line service will be provided by shuttle buses making N SubwayW Subway station stops. This work is scheduled for the following weekends from early Saturday to late Sunday, and additional weekends of work will be announced closer to the start of those dates.

  • March 16-18
  • March 23-24
  • April 6-7
  • April 13-14
  • June 15-16
  • June 22-23

 

The construction of the new station mezzanine requires reinforced station columns and new foundations to carry the additional weight of the new elevators and elevator-related facilities, and street-level work to build the foundations and lower the street surface under the new mezzanine. To accommodate this construction, which is elevated at the intersection of 31st Street and Hoyt Avenue South, limited weekend street detours will be in place to ensure the safety of pedestrians and motorists. NYC Transit, in coordination with the NYPD and NYCDOT, will deploy traffic mitigation measures such as traffic enforcement agents to help facilitate the smooth flow of traffic, crossing guards to assist pedestrians, and signage to encourage drivers to take alternate routes or detours.  The dates of these weekend detours to accommodate the intersection closure are scheduled below:

  • Weekend of March 30
  • Weekend of April 6
  • Weekend of April 13
  • Weekend of April 20
  • Weekend of April 27
  • Weekend of May 4
  • Weekend of May 11
  • Weekend of May 18
  • Weekend of May 25
  • Weekend of June 1
  • Weekend of June 8
  • Weekend of June 15
  • Weekend of June 22
  • Weekend of June 29

 

In May 2018, President Byford unveiled the Fast Forward Plan to establish a roadmap for the modernization of the subway, bus and paratransit networks. It proposes to add, in the span of five years, enough new elevators to ensure that all subway riders will not be more than two stops away from an accessible station. In June 2018, President Byford appointed the agency’s first systemwide accessibility adviser, Alex Elegudin, to implement accessibility initiatives outlined in the plan. 

The MTA has invested nearly $5 billion to make subway stations accessible, including $1.4 billion in the 2015-19 capital program. The capital program includes $479 million to replace 42 existing elevators and 27 escalators. Future capital programs will include funding for additional stations. 

New York City Transit has conducted robust community outreach on this project and will continue to update the affected communities throughout the project. Signage for the upcoming station closure has been at the station since mid-February.  A dedicated webpage on all Astoria Line projects, including details of the Astoria Blvd project such as street impacts, work site locations and hours, upcoming service changes, is available at https://new.mta.info/system_modernization/astoria. Due to the nature of the work and the elevated outdoor nature of the Astoria Blvd station and the track structure, some of the planned work is weather dependent. Any changes or updates to the schedule of work, NW service diversions or street impacts will be posted online. 

A video explaining the work on the entire Astoria Line is available here.