Thursday, November 26, 2020

New York City Transit Announces Work At The End Of The (E) Line In Queens Will Be Completed Two Weeks Ahead Of Schedule

 By N Miller 

QUEENS, NY- If you are an (E) train rider to/from Jamaica Center, then this is your happy moment. TA’s Construction & Development President Janno Lieber announced on Monday that the second phase of work to replace and install over 6,300 feet of track and over 9,800 feet of third rail at or near two stations at the end of the (E) line in Queens will be completed ahead of schedule and on budget. The project, originally expected to finish in mid-December, will now wrap up on Nov. 30. So, this means, full return of service at Sutphin Blvd and Jamaica Center stations.

The existing track had reached the end of its useful life and required complete replacement, which will lead to improved reliability and better service throughout the line in Queens and Manhattan. Since 2016, there have been 46 incidents between Jamaica-Van Wyck and Jamaica Center on the (E) line because of track conditions, resulting in 713 delayed trains. 

Lieber said this in a statement;

“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the MTA had begun transforming the way we do construction and brought that new approach to what we did here on the (E) line in Southeast Queens. We are taking advantage of the low ridership during COVID to get more work done, and to complete it faster. And more projects than ever before are being completed ahead of schedule and on budget. But to keep making progress in rebuilding the system, we need help from the federal government.”

Senator Leroy Comrie said this in a statement;

"I thank the MTA for not only wrapping up this project ahead of schedule, but also for working with locally elected leaders and Southeast Queens transit riders to cross honor tickets and implement alternative service via temporary shuttle buses and the LIRR during construction. This experience demonstrates the MTA's ability to meet the demands of riders while completing necessary infrastructure repair and modernization projects.”

Council Member I. Daneek Miller said this in a statement;

“We are pleased that this important track replacement work is finishing ahead of schedule and transit riders can now resume their usual routines. Any suspension in service at a major transit thoroughfare such as this can be difficult, but thanks to the working partnership with the MTA, our local elected offices, and community partners, we are confident that riders had sufficient alternate transit options, including cross-honoring on the LIRR.”

Phase 1 of the project was completed ahead of schedule in October, which allowed for an acceleration of Phase 2 work and limited train service at Sutphin Blvd/Archer Av-JFK and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer on Nov. 2. The MTA accelerated this project’s timeline from later in the 2020-24 Capital Program to take advantage of low airport travel and low general subway ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic, minimizing the disruption of the work and impacting fewer riders.

In other news, if you are traveling this Thanksgiving weekend, please be safe and practice social distancing. The elevators at the 191st Street (1) subway station in Washington Heights-The Cloisters are fully renovated just two months ahead of schedule. In Bridges & Tunnels, the Robert F. Kennedy connection to the Harlem River Drive has now been open. Lastly, full wireless connectivity has been brought to the (L) line between Bedford Ave, Brooklyn and 1st Avenue, Manhattan. 

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