GREENPOINT — Straphangers with G train gripes can add one more frustration to their lists this summer: 12 weekend closures in Greenpoint and Queens.
The line meandering through Brooklyn and crossing over to Long Island City will shut down service to its three northernmost stations starting with the Fourth of July weekend, the MTA announced, citing post-Sandy repairs. The closures will occur three July weekends, three August weekends, and six more weekends spread out through December.
The closures to the Greenpoint Avenue, 21st Street and Court Square stations (which will start at midnight on Fridays and run 53 hours straight for the affected weekends) will affect about 32,000 Saturday riders and 25,000 Sunday straphangers, the MTA projected.
"By shutting down the Greenpoint Tube for twelve weekends this year, the damaged systems can be repaired in a shorter amount of time during periods of lighter ridership," the MTA said in its press release of the G section running at the top of Greenpoint and under Newtown Creek. "A shuttle bus linking the closed stops will be provided."
The R train will also take a hit, with closure for up to 14 months starting in August between Brooklyn and Manhattan under the East River.
Members of the Riders Alliance, a group that has advocated for better service on the G and R trains for the past several months, said they supported the MTA's work but urged the agency to make "extraordinary accommodations" to help inconvenienced riders.
"That could mean running extra trains on nearby lines or adding more buses in the affected neighborhoods," the Riders Alliance's director John Raskin said of potential transit additions during the subway closures. "Whatever it takes, we should do it; hundreds of thousands of commuters should not experience Sandy-like conditions every day for more than a year."
An MTA spokesman said the agency would indeed work to provide alternate forms of transportation during the work.
“The temporary repairs that returned these tubes to operation after Sandy are not enough to provide reliable service," the MTA's acting chairman Fernando Ferrer said of the underwater subway sections. "We recognize that these closures will be an inconvenience for many of our customers, and we will do our best to provide them with alternatives. But there is no alternative to doing this work now.”