Photo Courtesy of MTA New York City Transit
An example of current platform and girder deterioration at the 111th Street station.
By Forum Staff
The platform girders at 111th Street on the JZ line in Richmond Hill will be replaced beginning January 2019 as part of structural improvements at several Jamaica Line stations, MTA New York City Transit announced on Friday.
According to NYCT, the elevated 111th Street station, which currently serves more than 3,200 weekday customers, opened for service in 1917, and its structure has not been replaced since the station was built. The trackside girders, which are steel structures that hold the platforms and canopy supports in place, have deteriorated and now must be replaced to ensure continued safety. Due to the nature of the deterioration, the equipment required for the replacement, and the girders’ location immediately adjacent to the tracks and under platforms, train service cannot operate at 111th Street while crews remove and rebuild the girders and the platforms on top of them. Beginning at 5 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, JZ trains will bypass 111th Street in both directions while the girders are replaced and the platforms are demolished and rebuilt, the agency said.
Similar work at the 104th Street and 121st Street stations had been scheduled to provide one-direction service during the repairs, which stretched the construction timeline to more than a year, NYCT noted. By closing the 111th Street station in both directions, the construction timeline will be reduced to approximately six months.
Currently, the area is served by both the subway and the local Q56 bus, which operates along Jamaica Avenue and mirrors the JZ route in the area. During the girder replacement project, NYCThas indicated that it will provide enhanced Q56 bus service between 111th Street and 121st Street. Customers using MetroCards will get an additional free transfer when transferring from the Q37/Q56 to the J line at 104th Street, 121st Street or Woodhaven Boulevard stations. Customers can also use the nearby 104th Street or 121st Street stations.
NYC Transit has pledged to post signage and make announcements at 111th Street, nearby stations, and on trains to notify customers so they can plan ahead and learn about the service alternatives. Transit staff has conducted outreach with the local community and elected officials and will continue to reach out to the community and businesses ahead of and during the service diversion. Customer ambassadors will be staffed at the station before and in the first days of the service bypass to provide more customer information, NYCT promised.