The two-month M-train shutdown that began July 1 is on track to be completed as scheduled on Sept. 1, allowing the second phase of rebuilding a vital transit stretch in Queens to start the following day.
The first phase rebuilt the 100-year-old Fresh Pond Bridge, which crosses over tracks for the New York and Atlantic Railway and gives access to storage yards for subway cars.
The second and final phase of the M line work will reconstruct the Myrtle Viaduct, a 310-foot-long structure between the Myrtle Avenue J/M/Z and Central Avenue M stations that has been used daily since being built in 1913.
As part of that infrastructure work, a concrete deck and safety walkways will be built, and a new third rail, low-vibration tracks, steel supports and drainage will be installed.
Because the existing viaduct will be completely demolished, all train service on it will be suspended over the course of construction, which is slated to end in the spring.
“Without rebuilding the Myrtle Viaduct and the Fresh Pond Bridge, we would not be able to continue to run M trains safely because the deteriorating condition of these structures are getting to a point beyond what our crews can fix during routine maintenance,” said Ronnie Hakim, the MTA’s managing director.
How will M service be affected by the Myrtle Viaduct reconstruction?
M trains will run in two parts starting Sept. 2:
• Locally between Broadway Junction and Forest Hills-71st Street on weekdays
• As shuttle service between Middle Village-Metropolitan Avenue and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues, stopping at those station Avenue, Fresh Pond Road, Forest Avenue, Seneca Avenue and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues. During the day, the shuttles will run every 10 minutes, and every 20 minutes overnight.
To get to the Myrtle Avenue J/M/Z station, straphangers can switch to the L or free shuttle buses at Myrtle-Wyckoff. MetroCard customers who opt for the buses will not have to pay twice to reenter those stations.
While service to Knickerbocker Avenue and Central Avenue will remain suspended during the second phase of work, free shuttle buses will be provided to Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues and Myrtle Avenues for the L/M and J/M/Z trains, respectively.
For commuter convenience at the affected stations and shuttle bus stops, MTA workers will be available.
As roughly 60,000 New Yorkers rely on the M every weekday, the MTA created a website regarding the reconstruction project. It can be found at web.mta.info/nyct/service/MyrtleAvenue.