January 16, 2014
Flushing Line Weekend Improvement Work Resumes in February
Critical Weekend Work Necessary to Repair Sandy Damage, Replace Track Panel, and Improve Signals
MTA New York City Transit has announced the latest round of ongoing work to modernize, improve and fortify MTA New York City Transit’s Flushing Line. The extensive work will require additional periodic weekend service disruptions. When completed, this work will result in a more reliable subway line with the ability to run more trains and improve performance for growing neighborhoods in Queens.
This capital improvement work and the associated service impacts will continue through 2014 with the next round of weekend service diversions scheduled to begin February 28 between Queens and Manhattan. The majority of the upcoming service diversions support the interconnected trio of ongoing infrastructure projects aimed at improving the Flushing Line: the continued installation of CBTC (Communications-Based Train Control), the replacement of critical track panels, and reconstruction inside the Steinway Tube under the East River. The tube work also includes tunnel duct reconstruction and work to replace and improve components damaged during Superstorm Sandy.
“We understand that these service disruptions are inconvenient to the customers who depend on the train and we appreciate their patience,” said MTA NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco. “We have made every effort to schedule these projects simultaneously to get as much work done as we can during these periods.”
The majority of the 2014 work will concentrate on the segment of the line between 74 St-Broadway and Times Square-42 St. However, work is also being performed along the line east of the 74 St-Broadway Station, particularly along the segment between Mets-Willets Point and the Flushing-Main St stations. There will be no service between Mets-Willets Point and Flushing-Main St between 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 15 and 5 a.m. Tuesday, February 18, as well as between 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 22 and 5 a.m. Monday, February 24.
Customers will be kept informed through notices posted in the system and printed brochures, which will explain the work and the service changes. NYC Transit will operate a special free shuttle bus along all closed Line stations during the service suspensions. Also, and service will be increased during these periods. For service to and from Manhattan, customers should use service at Queensboro Plaza or service at Court Sq. Customers can also transfer at 74 St-Broadway for service to Manhattan.
The multi-year, $550 million capital improvement project to replace the antiquated 50- to 90-year-old signaling system on the line with state-of-the-art CBTC technology will continue into 2017. Upon completion, CBTC technology will interface with subway cars and countdown clocks to increase operational flexibility and reliability, and allow NYC Transit to run more trains per hour. These improvements will reduce crowding, prevent signal problems associated with old equipment, and further accommodate the population growth in Queens.
NYC Transit will also continue its work bringing the 120-year old Steinway Tube back to a state of good repair. Work in 2014 will include $33 million in component replacement and upgrade, which will include demolishing and reconstructing collapsed duct which houses critical electrical and communication lines to house new cables that supply power for the new technology we're installing. NYC Transit will be rehabilitating the tube’s pump room and discharge lines, which were damaged during Sandy.
In 2014, service suspensions between Queensboro Plaza and 74 St-Broadway are required to address critical track conditions that require the removal and replacement of elevated track panels that have neared or exceeded their useful lifespan and pose risks not just to safety but also to the Line's operational capacity. If old track panels are not replaced, they become subject to mandatory speed reductions to prevent derailments, which result in fewer trains operating per hour and more crowding. In all, NYC Transit expects to renew and replace approximately 2,980 feet of old track representing a $15 million investment.
“We have timed this vital work to minimize impacts to customers, pedestrians and vehicular traffic, and to avoid dates with high projected ridership,” added Bianco. “This is far more work than can be completed during our overnight FASTRACK program, which was designed to accommodate typical subway maintenance. Work of this scope on the Line cannot be done overnight and requires more than 48 hours of continuous access to the tube and tracks.”
Dates have been set for weekend service changes through July and are noted below. Service diversions for the remainder of the year are tentative.
No service between Times Square-42 St and Queensboro Plaza on these dates unless noted with asterisk:
- February 28-March 3
- March 7-10, 14-17, 21-24, 28-31
- April 11-14
- May 2-5, 16-19* (*No service between Times Square-42 St and 74 St-Broadway)
- May 30-June 2
- June 6-8, also reduced service between 74 St-Broadway and Queensboro Plaza* (*Service resumes early a.m. Sunday, June 8 for Puerto Rican Day Parade)
- June 20-23, 27-30, also reduced service between 74 St-Broadway and Queensboro Plaza
- July 18-21, also reduced service between 74 St-Broadway and Queensboro Plaza
Announcements will be made in stations and onboard trains throughout the system and NYC Transit personnel will be on duty at affected stations and along the substitute shuttle bus routes to assist customers. For more information on the Line work, go to The 7 Making Progress in 2014 page. Service information is also available at the MTA’s service advisory page and The Weekender page.