Thursday, September 18, 2014

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Renovations Taking a Little Longer for Riders at Two Queens Stations

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TWC News: Renovations Taking a Little Longer for Riders at Two Queens Stations
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Straphangers who use two subway stations in Queens will have to wait a little longer for renovations to be completed, and that's just the first half of the job. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

The job should have been done a month ago, but A trains are still bypassing the Queens-bound platforms at the 88th and 104th Street stations while the Metropolitan Transportation Authority renovates them.

Nearly 5,000 riders use the stations on weekdays, and many NY1 spoke with were annoyed that the work has gone on longer than planned.

"Completely a big inconvenience for everybody," said one commuter. "You see everybody on the next stop just waiting there for the train back. It just delays you."

"Once they give a deadline that work should be completed, it should be completed," said another. "They should not be coming up with lame-duck excuses, because you're hampering commerce, you're hampering the neighborhood."

The MTA said it had to make some unexpected repairs to the steel girders supporting the platforms. That's extending the project, which started in May and was supposed to have been completed by August 18.

"During the course of the work, we uncovered some structural deficiencies to the steel along that corridor, so that's work that we needed to get in there," said MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz.

Now, the reopening has been pushed back to September 29 as workers put the finishing touches on new platforms, walls, staircases and overhangs, so riders still have to get off at the next stop and catch a train in the other direction or walk.

"Having to walk back at night really takes a while. It takes an extra 10 minutes," said one commuter.

Repair work is are also being done at three other elevated stations along this stretch of the A, although those platforms are staying open. Riders and transit officials said the work was a must at century-old stations that were showing their age.

"It could definitely do with an upgrade, you know? It's been like this for a long time," said one rider.

Even when this part of the job is done, more annoyances are just around the corner for riders. The second part of the project is set to get going October 13, when the Manhattan-bound platforms at the two stations are set to close temporarily.

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