BY JON CRONIN
The M line resumed full service this week after nearly a year of $163 million of construction work on the century-old Myrtle Viaduct and months of work on the Fresh Pond Bridge.
The M line resumed full service at 5 a.m. on April 30, and some commuters were greeted on their morning commute by New York City Transit President Andrew Byford between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
“When we couple the long-term fortification work on this line with the smoother ride and quieter tracks, we can be sure we’re on our way to building the world-class transit system we’ve pledged to deliver,” said Byford of the project, which started in July 2017.
Riders will have access to connections with the J and Z lines. The MTA noted that the connection will “prove critical” during the April 2019 closure of the I train tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
“Completing this project on time and on budget was critical to show how serious we are about minimizing impacts on our customers as we perform this important work,” said MTA Chairman Joe Lhota.
The MTA stated that after nonstop use for nearly a century, the bridge and viaduct had been deteriorating rapidly and needed to be rebuilt. The current ridership is 60,000 daily passengers, a 53 percent increase over the past 18 years.
The Fresh Pond Bridge carries 9,000 daily weekday riders between Fresh Pond Road and the Middle Village-Metropolitan Avenue stop. The viaduct is utilized by 50,000 weekday passengers between Myrtle and Central avenues.
The new structures include 310 feet of newly constructed noise-reducing, low-vibration tracks, 700 feet of new third rail, 400 feet of stronger, newly engineered track and new local signal equipment and cables.