ASTORIA, Queens — Commuters in Queens who rely on the N and W trains to get into the city will have to find a new route starting today.
The MTA officially closed the Astoria Blvd. station on the N/W subway lines Sunday night at 10 p.m., and the station is planned to remain closed for nine months.
The lengthy closure is part of the MTA's multi-phase project to improve accessibility to the station. The MTA plans to add four new elevators and other accessibility features.
The project also includes the planned demolishing and rebuilding of the station's mezzanine, allowing for more vertical clearance, to prevent strikes by trucks and other over-height vehicles that travel underneath the station.
"We've been on a steady march of impreovement work on the entire Astoria Line to increase reliability and improve safety and the customer experience," MTA New York City Transit President Andy Byford said in a statement. "Raising the height of the station is also vitally important for our train service and structure as well as the vehicles that use the streets below those elevated track."
According to the MTA, NYC Transit has been repairing and rehabilitating stations, switches and track structure throughout the length of the entire elevated Astoria NW line, replacing deteriorated structural steel, installing new sections of track panels and repairing platforms, stairs and mezzanines to bring century-old stations to a state of good repair.
The MTA says it has invested nearly $5 billion to make subway stations accessible, including $1.4 billion in the 2015-19 capital program. The capital program includes $479 million to replace 42 existing elevators and 27 escalators.
Future capital programs will include funding for additional stations, the organization said.