June 4, 2014 By Michael Florio
It’s going to be years before a car is permitted to travel down one block in the southern section of Astoria.
The MTA has shut down 46th Street between Northern Blvd and 34th Avenue to install a fan/vent plant to serve the Queens Blvd subway lines (E,F,M and R trains).
The fan/vent plant is necessary since it will provide air and tunnel access to the subway lines in the event of an emergency, said Kevin Ortiz, a MTA spokesman.
Motor vehicles and the general public are no longer permitted access to the block. However, the MTA said that current residents and employees who live or work on the street will be able to gain entry.
Currently, there is a residential building, Sleepy’s and a Major Auto dealership located on the block, Ortiz said.
“We have had outreach with the property owners,” Ortiz said. “All of our work has been approved by the Department of Transportation and has the proper permits.”
Construction is not expected to be completed until the fall 2016– at the earliest.
“It is an inconvenience, but it has to be done,” said Community Board 1 District Manager Lucille Hartmann. The street was closed down early last month.
The biggest inconvenience to residents in the area is the construction noise. However, Hartmann said the majority of the work will be completed during the day, while some may have to be conducted during the evening hours.
“I had one call regarding the noise, but that’s it,” she said. “No businesses have complained.”
There will also be no parking on the north side of Northern Blvd between 45th and 47th street. Violators will be towed.