By Jon Cronin, Editor
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced today that the E and M lines between Queens and Manhattan will be shut down during the week after Christmas for five days.
The MTA said that it would take much longer if they cut transportation only on weekends. Workers will perform upgrades, maintenance and repairs to signal, track and drainage on the 53rd Street line. The agency noted that the five days were during “a period of lower-than-average ridership.”
The work will begin in the early morning of Dec. 26 and last until the late morning of Dec. 31. The MTA will work in and around the 53rd Street tunnel between Manhattan and Queens.
The MTA announcement noted that normal weekend service will then resume with the enhancements well before New Year’s Eve festivities begin.
The MTA’s amended service for this project will include: E trains will be rerouted along the F Line between Roosevelt Avenue and West 4th Street at all times and follow the normal route between West 4th and World Trade Center except during overnights (10 p.m. to 5 a.m.), when they will run along the F line between West 4th and 2nd Avenue at Houston Street.
M trains will not operate, except for the M shuttle trains between Metropolitan Avenue and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenue. Additional J trains will operate between Broadway Junction and Chambers Street.
Forest Hills commuters getting off and on at 71st Avenue will have to take the F, the R or rerouted E trains.
LaGuardia and JFK airport travellers will have to take the rerouted E and, as always, connect with the LaGuardia Link bus at Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue or the JFK AirTrain at Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue.
Queens Plaza will continue to have R service, except overnight when buses to 21st Street-Queensbridge will be provided.
“We pledged to do more work in less time as we work hard to improve the subway system, and this is yet another example,” said MTA Chief Operating Officer and Acting NYC Transit President Phil Eng. “The schedule for this intensive Subway Action Plan and capital improvement work minimizes the impact on our customers, while putting in new track, third rail and signal equipment for a more reliable ride. We appreciate our customers’ patience while we do this critical work.”
The project’s work includes the installation of four miles of cabling for signal improvements, including Communications-Based Train Control, 2,000 feet of third rail replacement, 700 feet of track replacement, 1,000 feet of track drainage clearing and leak-eliminating grouting.
Check MTA.info and the MTA’s TripPlanner for more service change information. A video explaining the work and service options is available on the MTA’s YouTube channel.