Phase 1 of the MTA’s overhaul of the Myrtle Avenue Line in 2017 will eliminate M train service between Middle Village and Bushwick for two whole months.
According to an MTA announcement on Friday, the entire segment of the line between Metropolitan Avenue and Myrtle Avenue-Broadway will need to be closed as crews demolish and replace a bridge over freight rail tracks between the Fresh Pond Road and Metropolitan Avenue stations. The work is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2017.
Once that bridge is replaced, the MTA will launch Phase 2, which is demolishing and replacing the concrete viaduct linking the Myrtle Avenue Line with the Broadway Line, which carries the J/Z train, between the Myrtle Avenue-Broadway and Central Avenue stations in Bushwick. This project is expected to take 10 months to complete.
The authority indicated in its press release that “this work cannot be postponed because the structures have already severely deteriorated” after decades of use.
Fully repairing the Myrtle Avenue Line is especially critical to the MTA in advance of the planned long-term L train shutdown, which is required to repair the Canarsie Tube from damage suffered during Hurricane Sandy. The M line figures to play an important role in contingency travel plans while the L line is down.
“These temporary closures are vital to the long-term viability of the M line in Brooklyn and Queens,” MTA New York City Transit President Veronique Hakim said. “We will work closely with the affected communities, their elected officials and other representatives to minimize the disruption and address their concerns, and we will do our utmost to complete this work as quickly as possible.”
During both phases of the project, the MTA will reroute the M train to terminate to and from Broadway Junction in Brooklyn. It was also noted that peak-hour frequency of M train service will be reduced by 25 percent.
To accommodate the affected commuters, J/Z trains will make all local stops between Marcy Avenue and Broadway Junction. The MTA will also increase peak-hour service on the L line.
During Phase 1, free shuttle buses will replace train service on the Myrtle Avenue Line, making stops at each of the affected stations: Metropolitan Avenue, Fresh Pond Road, Forest Avenue, Seneca Avenue, Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues (where a connection to the L train is available), Knickerbocker Avenue, Central Avenue and Myrtle Avenue-Broadway (where riders can connect to the J/Z and M trains).
An express shuttle bus will also be created between Metropolitan Avenue and the Flushing Avenue station in Brooklyn, where J/Z and M train service is available. This bus will only make one stop in between these points: at the Jefferson Street L train station in Bushwick.
Phase 1 will likely start in July 2017; according to the MTA, it is scheduling the work so it would not affect students traveling to and from Christ the King Regional High School, which is located near the Metropolitan Avenue stop.
After Phase 1 is complete, the MTA will operate an M shuttle train between Metropolitan Avenue and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues, where riders can connect to the L line. Free shuttle buses will replace train service to the Knickerbocker Avenue and Central Avenue stations in Bushwick.
Service is projected to be back to normal on the M line by the summer of 2018. Then the MTA will focus its attention on the L line.