Dec. 19, 2019 By Allie Griffin
The Astoria Boulevard N/W subway station reopened to customers last night, while construction crews continue work to make it ADA accessible.
After nine months of closure, the station reopened with a new mezzanine and greater vertical clearance to prevent trucks traveling beneath its overpass from striking the station structure. The former mezzanine was demolished and completely rebuilt.
Construction crews will continue work to add four new elevators and other accessibility features, while the station is in use. The full project is expected to be completed in the fall of next year.
Since the station’s March closure, workers also strengthened the station’s column foundations, built four new mezzanine-to-platform staircases, rehabilitated platforms and installed new LED lighting and canopy roofs. Artists also beautified that station with new glass art both inside the mezzanine and on staircases.
“Last night, trains officially began to stop at Astoria Boulevard again,” Council Member Costa Constantinides said in a statement. “This has been a long few months for a lot of us who use this station, but I’m glad to see the authority kept to its word on finishing this December.”
When the full Astoria Boulevard station upgrades are completed, the station will have two street-to-mezzanine elevators and two mezzanine-to-platform elevators, as well as rebuilt elevated walkways, new benches, finished platform stair enclosures, new digital service information signage and a pair of new street-to-mezzanine staircases.
The ADA upgrades are part of the MTA plan to make all its subways more accessible. Under its 2020-2024 capital plant, New York City Transit will spent $5 billion to increase accessibility at an additional 70 stations.
The MTA has come under fire in the past for not including accessibility upgrades like elevators in station renovations.
“Our community will continue to hold [the MTA] accountable, however, to ensure the elevators are installed on time,” Constantinides added. “Astoria has been an accessibility desert for too long, and we won’t stop fighting until every station in western Queens can be used by everyone.”
NYC Transit has been repairing and rehabilitating the entire elevated Astoria N/W line since 2017 — repairing both its tracks and station interiors. More information, including work site hours and upcoming service changes, can be found here.
“Our customers were absolutely thrilled to return to this station last night and I’m thrilled for them,” said Andy Byford, New York City Transit President. “I’m proud of the team that delivered this complicated phase of the project safely, on time and on budget, and excited for when we finish the job with complete accessibility at the station.”
“Our commitment to upgrading the infrastructure throughout this area of Queens is a huge win for local residents and will vastly improve the customer experience,” Byford added.
N and W customers: Service to Astoria Blvd is back, squall or no squall! But our work continues. Thread 👇 pic.twitter.com/utJm76MBwb
— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) December 19, 2019