By Bill Parry
Astoria residents will be without N train service for eight weekends this spring and summer, including Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, as the MTA replaces switches and does track work as part of a $12.4 million overhaul.
There will be no trains running between the Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard and Queensboro Plaza stations from 12:01 a.m. on Saturdays to 5 a.m. on Mondays, in both directions. On the holiday weekends, service will resume at 5 a.m. Tuesday, according to the MTA.
“This critical infrastructure improvement has been long-anticipated,” City Councilman CostaConstantinides (D-Astoria) said. “The MTA’s commitment to replace switches, track panels, and steel girders between Ditmars Boulevard till Queensboro Plaza on the elevated subway will increase service reliability and will significantly mitigate noise from the overhead structure.”
The MTA said the work will increase efficiency and help reduce noise from the elevated tracks, which parents and teachers from PS 85 have complained about for years for disrupting lessons.
“For the entire school community at PS 85, this is a sigh of relief,” Constantinides said. “Elementary schoolchildren should not have to bear the burden of repeated interruptions while engaging in the learning process. Their focus should be directed exclusively towards their work, teachers, and peers — not the constant bustle of a rumbling train.”
The shutdowns are scheduled to take place beginning May 20-22, Memorial Day weekend of May 27-30, June 3-5, Aug. 12-14, Aug. 19-21, Aug. 26-28, Labor Day weekend of Sept. 2-5 and Sept. 9-11, according to the MTA.
During the suspensions, the MTA will provide free shuttle buses with stops at each station along the line. The W train, which uses the same line, does not run on weekends.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr