The L train shutdown — a hot topic of conversation these days — isn’t going to arrive for a few more years, but already the MTA is putting the pieces in place to ensure the pain is minimized. Although we don’t yet know the details behind the shutdown, it will involve more M train service, and to that end, the MTA will have to first shut down some M train service to rehabilitate the Myrtle Viaduct. It’s going to be a preview of things to come.
After word leaked to the press late this week, the MTA announced on Friday that the M train shutdown will take place in two parts in 2017. During the first part, for two months, the MTA will repair a metal bridge between the Fresh Pond Rd and Middle Village-Metropolitan Av stations. Following that, the 100-year-old concrete viaduct that hosts the M between Myrtle and Central Aves. will be repaired. All told, part of the M line will close for ten months beginning in the summer of 2017.
“These temporary closures are vital to the long term viability of the M line in Brooklyn and Queens,” NYC Transit President Ronnie Hakim said in a statement. “Both of these structures have deteriorated to the point that there is simply no other option than complete replacement, and undergoing this step will ensure a safe, more reliable experience for customers for decades to come. 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.”
Picking up on a theme we saw unfold in Washington DC this week, the MTA notes that this work simply cannot be postponed any longer as the structure is “severely deteriorated.” The work includes a rebuild of two sections of the elevated structure as well as replacing steel girders, track beds and the platforms that carry the tracks. Doing the work next year will allow the MTA to lean on the M once the L train shuts down in 2018.
During the first two months, M trains will not run between Myrtle Ave. and Middle Village-Metropolitan Ave. Shuttle bus routes will serve the closed stations. During the second phase — which will last eight additional months — the M will run between between Middle Village-Metropolitan Av and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs, and M trains will run into Manhattan from Broadway Junction with peak-hour frequency reduced by 25 percent. The J and Z will not skip stops between Marcy Ave. and Broadway Junction, and the L will maintain peak frequencies throughout the day. This is the cost of deferred maintenance.
Meanwhile, after the jump, this weekend’s service advisories. As always, these come to me from the MTA. If anything looks wrong, take it up with them.