MTA Press Releases

Press Release
April 17, 2018
IMMEDIATE
MTA New York City Transit to Bring Elevators to Astoria Blvd Station
Station Serves As Critical Hub for Both Subway and Bus Commuters, Includes Bus Connection to LaGuardia Airport

MTA New York City Transit announced today that four elevators are going to be installed at the Astoria Blvd station on the N and W lines in Queens, with work beginning this summer alongside other station improvement projects in the area.

“I’ve made accessibility one of my top priorities since the moment I arrived at New York City Transit and am thrilled that we’re bringing elevators to this critical intermodal hub that connects to LaGuardia Airport,” President Byford said. “We are continuing to spend billions of dollars on accessibility throughout the entire subway system. The systemwide study that’s underway now, combined with future funding in the MTA capital plan, will provide the path forward to even more accessibility improvements.”

The Astoria Blvd project includes a pair of street-to-mezzanine elevators as well and another two mezzanine-to-platform elevators. The installation of the street elevators will require the complete demolition and reconstruction of the entire station mezzanine, which will also be raised to reduce strikes by trucks driving underneath.

The project will also include numerous other repairs and improvements to the aging, century-old station. That includes the repair or replacement of structural columns and foundations, the replacement of damaged concrete platform surfaces, the replacement of street and platform stairs, and the replacement of platform roofs and the mezzanine overpass walkway. Platform gaps, boarding areas, stairs, railings, and other elements of the station will meet ADA standards. Lightposts, signs and gates will also be replaced.

Some of the additional work being done at Astoria Blvd is similar to that being done at other nearby stations. NYC Transit is in the process of performing critical structural repairs and upgrades at every station on the N/W line in Astoria. The 30th and 36th Av stations were closed in October 2017 and will reopen at the end of June. Broadway and 39th Av stations will be closed for seven months starting in July. Work at the Ditmars Blvd station begins this month and is scheduled to be completed by June 2019, with the station remaining open throughout the project.

The contract for the project is expected to be awarded in late June, at which time more specific information about the project’s cost and timeline will be known. Work at Astoria Blvd is currently expected to begin in September 2018, and during this phase of work the station will remain open for service. After nearby station improvement projects on the N/W line are complete, in February 2019, the Astoria Blvd station will fully close for approximately nine months to allow for the demolition and reconstruction of the station’s mezzanine and platforms to accommodate installation of the four elevators.

Community outreach is an integral part of any project and NYC Transit personnel will be keeping local community members well informed as the project progresses. The local community board and elected officials have been notified, and outreach to nearby businesses and other properties will also precede the project. A major notification effort including extra personnel, signage, social media and advertisements will help ensure that customers and neighbors are prepared for any disruptions.

The Astoria Blvd station will especially benefit from elevators due to being an intermodal hub with a critical landmark connection: the M60 SBS bus to LaGuardia Airport.

Nearly $5 billion has been invested to make subway stations accessible, including $1 billion in the 2015-19 MTA capital program for adding accessibility to 19 stations. The 2015-19 capital program also includes $427 million to replace 42 elevators and 32 escalators that already exist. Future capital programs will include funding for additional stations.

NYCT President Andy Byford has stated since his first day in office that accessibility is one of his top four priorities, and gave a presentation to the MTA Board on NYC Transit’s station renewal and accessibility programs (at the 1:03:09 mark here: https://youtu.be/lbCSncRgzh0?t=1h3m9s).

As President Byford noted in his presentation, a new system-wide study is being conducted to catalog and analyze what would need to be done to make the system fully accessible, which will help the MTA and stakeholders identify particular stations for inclusion in the next capital program’s station elevator projects. As noted by MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota, an MTA Board task force has been formed to examine and address station accessibility. A separate task group is focused on Access-a-Ride.