July 19, 2023 By Michael Dorgan
Construction will begin on rebuilding a section of a platform at the Queensboro Plaza subway station in Queens later this month, forcing Manhattan-bound 7, N, and W trains to bypass the station for two weeks, according to the MTA.
The service changes are expected to go into effect on July 31 as the MTA carries out upgrades — including the installation of new elevators — to make the station fully accessible.
The MTA will be demolishing and rebuilding the middle section of the entire Manhattan-bound platform at Queensboro Plaza station, an area amounting to around 10,000 square feet, the MTA said in a statement on Tuesday, July 18.
The new platform will be expanded by around 2,300 square feet in order to improve customer flow within the station. The platform will be raised to align with trains and newly constructed platform edges. New lighting will also be installed.
The closure of the platform is scheduled to go into effect on July 31 at 5 a.m. and will run through Aug. 14 at 5 a.m.
During the disruptions, customers will be able to use the E/M/R trains at the Queens Plaza station to avoid having to back-ride. Queens Plaza station, which is elevator-accessible, will have service in both directions during this time.
If customers enter the Queensboro Plaza station having already paid a fare, they can take a Flushing-bound 7 train to the 33rd Street-Rawson station or an Astoria-bound N/W train to the 39th Avenue-Dutch Kills and switch to a Manhattan-bound service, the MTA said.
The upgrades are part of a $74 million project — which started in February and is scheduled to be completed by mid-2024 — to bring the station up to current ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards.
The project includes installing two elevators at the southern entrance of the station to make the station fully accessible. One of the elevators will be from street level to the mezzanine, with another elevator between the mezzanine and two platforms.
The agency is also upgrading the existing street and station stairs to current ADA standards.
The MTA will also be updating the pedestrian bridge, which goes across the 11-lane wide approach to the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge — two of which are bike lanes.
MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer said the disruptions are necessary in order to complete the project in a timely manner.
“The demolition, removal, and releveling of this island platform is labor intensive and requires a service outage to allow the concrete to properly set,” Torres-Springer said.
“While this work may pose a short-term inconvenience to riders, the long-term benefits of achieving full ADA accessibility at Queensboro Plaza will be invaluable to customers with disabilities.”
The station’s accessibility upgrades will also include security and communication enhancements such as a fire alarm system, the installation of a new security camera system, and a new public address system. Meanwhile, new digital information screens with better communication and clearer announcements will also be erected.
The MTA says the Queensboro Plaza station is a busy transfer point that served approximately 97,000 riders on an average weekday in May — an estimate that includes both customers who swipe in at the station and those who are transferring between the 7 and N/W trains.
The MTA said that an accessible elevator is also going to be constructed on the station’s north side, with an anticipated completion date of 2025.
The elevator will be financed, constructed, and maintained by a private development company that obtained a zoning density bonus in return for constructing an elevator.
The developer plans to build a 26-story apartment complex adjacent to the station at 25-01 Queens Plaza North.