M Line to be partially shut down between July 2017 and April 2018
Due to the deteriorating conditions on the line and because the M line will be instrumental during the partial shutdown of L train service for Canarsie Tunnel repairs in 2019, portions of Myrtle Avenue on the M Line are set to be shut down for up to ten months between July 1, 2017 and April 2018.
In 2016, the Myrtle Avenue M Line provided an average of 50,000 weekday trips to riders in Middle Village, Glendale, Ridgewood, and Bushwick, a 53% increase from ridership since 2000.
The project includes two parts to be completed over 10 months.
The M Line work consists of the replacement of two vital pieces of infrastructure: the Fresh Pond Bridge and the Myrtle Viaduct, both of which are over a century old. (See maps below.) Because of the degree of deterioration over the past century, it is necessary to fully replace the two structures rather than making partial repairs.
The Fresh Pond Bridge connects the Fresh Pond station with the Middle Village-Metropolitan Avenue terminal. It also allows for important access to storage and service yards that is vital to providing service. This part of the project will take two months.
The Myrtle Viaduct connects the Myrtle line with the Broadway J/Z Line. While regular maintenance has been provided to the viaduct over the past 100 years, the structure has reached the end of its useful life and must be replaced in order to provide service to the increasing ridership along the line. This part of the project will take ten months.
There will be two sets of service changes depending on the phase of the work.
The work will be conducted in two phases, resulting in different service changes over the course of the ten months. M trains will be rerouted to Broadway Junction although they would normally turn towards Middle Village-Metropolitan Avenue. As a result, be aware that there will be a 25% reduction of the number of M trains to and from Manhattan during peak hours. J/Z trains will subsequently stop at all stations between Marcy Av and Broadway Junction to accommodate displaced riders.
Phase I (two months) will be dedicated to replacing the Fresh Pond Bridge, as well as starting work on the Myrtle Viaduct. As a result, the entire Myrtle Avenue portion of the line will be shut down and replaced with three different shuttle bus routes:
- Route 1: Shuttle will run between the Myrtle-Wyckoff and Myrtle-Broadway stations, stopping at the Knickerbocker Av and Central Av stations, allowing transfers to the L train at the Myrtle-Wyckoff and J/M/Z at Myrtle-Broadway stations.
- Route 2: Shuttle will run between the Middle Village-Metropolitan Av and Myrtle-Wyckoff stations, stopping at the Fresh Pond Rd, Forest Av, and Seneca Av stations and allowing for riders to transfer to the L train at the Myrtle-Wyckoff station.
- Route 3: Shuttle will run between the Middle Village-Metropolitan Av and Flushing Av J/M/Z stations, stopping only at the Jefferson St L station to allow transfers.
Phase II will continue for an additional eight months and will result in the final reconstruction of the Myrtle Viaduct. During the reconstruction, M train shuttle service will resume between the Middle Village-Metropolitan Av and Myrtle-Wyckoff Av stations. Shuttle bus service will remain in place between the Myrtle-Wyckoff and Myrtle-Broadway stations in order to connect riders with J/M/Z lines.
Canarsie Tunnel L Train repairs will follow in 2019.
This infrastructure project is a critical predecessor to the Canarsie Tunnel repairs coming in 2019. While the tunnel is closed, officials expect a majority of displaced L Line riders to switch to other subway lines, including the M train at Myrtle-Wyckoff Av. As a result, M train service will be increased to absorb its increased ridership. By replacing the Fresh Pond Bridge and Myrtle Viaduct, the MTA system will be prepared for the high levels of continuous service that will be required along the Myrtle Avenue M line. Overall, the thousands of riders that will be displaced over the 15 month period of Canarsie Tunnel repairs will have a better experience.