MTA Reschedules 7 Train Work for Weekend of LIC Block Party, Arts Festival

By Jeanmarie Evelly on April 11, 2014 6:28pm 

 The 7 train will run as normal the weekend of May 17 for the LIC Arts Open and LIC Springs! block party.
The 7 train will run as normal the weekend of May 17 for the LIC Arts Open and LIC Springs! block party.
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David Goldman/Getty Images

LONG ISLAND CITY — A planned service shutdown on the 7 train in Queens next month is being rescheduled to accommodate two major community events in Long Island City, the MTA announced Friday.

The agency is rescheduling repair work the weekend of May 17 and 18, which would have meant a service shutdown between Times Square and the 74 St - Broadway station in Jackson Heights. The 7 train will now run as normal that weekend.

The change was made at the request of community members because the annual LIC Arts Open festival is scheduled to take place that weekend, as well as LIC Springs!, a community block party that will take place on Vernon Boulevard in Hunters Point, according to state Sen. Michael Gianaris.

"Finally the MTA has not only listened to our community on this issue, but taken action," he said in a statement.

"LIC Springs! and other events like the LIC Flea and the LIC Arts Open are wonderful displays of how much our neighborhood has to offer, so I appreciate the MTA making it easier to get people here for this one weekend."

The work that was supposed to be done that weekend will be rescheduled, though a date has not been set, according to an MTA spokesman. The agency said the change will not increase the number of Steinway Tube closures scheduled for this year, part of a long-term project to rehab the 7 train.

The MTA is also making several other changes to its 7 line repair work schedule for 2014, which include the following:

  • Service will be shutdown between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza the weekend of May 3, instead of between 74 St - Broadway and Times Square.
  • Service will be shutdown between 74 St - Broadway and Times Square the weekend of May 31 to June 1.
  • Service the weekend of Sept. 20 will be shutdown between 74 St - Broadway and Times Square. 7 trains had previously been scheduled to run express between Queensboro Plaza and 74 St - Broadway.
  • There will be limited service to Queensboro Plaza the weekend of Nov. 15, with no service between Queensboro Plaza and Times Square.

The MTA says the services changes are needed for construction work that is "absolutely critical to this service’s reliability, safety and longevity."

That work includes a $550 million capital improvement project to replace the line's old signaling system, which will allow for the installation of countdown clocks and for NYC Transit to run more trains per hour.

Repairs are also being made to the 120-year old Steinway Tube — the tunnel which brings 7 trains from Long Island City to the east side of Manhattan — including fixes to the tube's pump room and discharge lines, which were damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

Old track panels on the line are also being replaced, according to a statement.

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