NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A major subway hub in Queens closed overnight for a multi-million dollar renovation project that’s expected to last nearly a year.
The Astoria Boulevard station will be closed for nine months, forcing riders who take the N and W trains to find alternate routes.
The station is more than 100 years old and the MTA says repairs are long overdue.
Still, many commuters were caught off guard by the station’s closure.
Renata Almeda is among the many commuters who found out the hard way the station is closed for renovations.
“It’s very, very inconvenient. It’s crazy. I didn’t know,” Almeda told CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas.
The entrances to the usually bustling transit hub for the N and W trains are now boarded up and locked. Crews are beginning work that will include installing four new elevators, reconstructing the overpass, mezzanine and stairways.
“The staircase is definitely the worst part about it. It’s lumpy and bumpy and so many people have fallen down it. I know someone who did and got seriously injured from it,” said Astoria resident Hunter Guzman.
“Like, the overhead times, like, when the train is going to come. When I’m sitting at the station, I want to see that indication,” said Deandra Campbell.
Commuters don’t deny repairs were desperately needed. Still, that doesn’t minimize the inconvenience. Ditmars and 30th Avenue are the alternate stations.
“Now I have to run a half mile and try to be there on time I guess,” one commuter told Cline-Thomas.
An MTA representative handed out flyers and helped point commuters in the right direction.
The improvements cost $95 million and construction and is expected to last until December.
Shuttle buses will only be provided on some weekends when subway service is more limited.
In addition to the subway, the station connects commuters to the M60 bus service to LaGuardia Airport and the Q19 local bus service.
As for traffic on the roads, the construction will mainly impact 31st Street and Hoyt Avenue.
“It’s a real bummer that it’s not getting to operate for a whole nine months. Even being able to cross over was real convenient,” Astoria resident Meghan Burnham said.
“It’s going to be tough. It really changes the game for me, waking up a little bit earlier. Now, I have to walk to the next station,” a man added.
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