Nov. 18, 2019 By Christian Murray
The MTA plans to overhaul the dilapidated 52nd Street station along with at least five other stations along the 7 line, the agency told the Queens Post on Friday.
The MTA says that it is in the design phase to rehabilitate the 52nd Street, 61st Street, 69th, 82nd, 103rd and 111th Street stations– with a contract to be awarded for the work by the summer of 2020. An MTA spokesperson said the construction work could possibly begin soon thereafter.
The agency originally planned to upgrade five stations, according to a spokesperson, but is now doing six—with the late addition of the 61st Street station. Other stations along the 7 line could well be added.
“In a win for customers on the 7 line, what was originally a plan to do improvement work at five stations along the line is now expanding to include more stations,” a spokesperson said, noting that a contract award deadline of summer of 2020 is on schedule.
However, details on the types of repairs and changes coming to the stations, along with a firm timeline, are not yet known.
The work is long overdue as the 7 train stations in Woodside, Jackson Heights and Corona have been in poor condition for many years with stairs falling apart, platforms in disrepair and paint peeling from the station walls.
The MTA has been planning to upgrade the stations for years, even allocating $122 million to repair these six stations in its 2015-2019 capital plan.
The stations are among the worst in the 467-station system. The Citizens Budget Commission back in 2015 noted that the 52nd Street station was the worst station in the system—with 79 percent of its structural components—defined as stairs, platform edges, ventilators and more– not in a state of good repair.
All six stations in the report were listed among the worst 30, with all having more than 50 percent of their structural components listed as not in a state of good repair.
Community and elected leaders welcomed the news but questioned whether the MTA would keep to the 2020 contract schedule and remain perplexed as to why it has taken so long.
“It’s about time, long overdue,” said Community Board 2 Denise Keehan-Smith said last week, who noted the poor conditions of the steps at the 52nd Street station and the peeling paint. She said the 69th Street station was also in poor condition.
Community Board 2, which represents Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City, was notified by the MTA in 2017 that it was going to complete the design phase to overhaul the 52nd Street, 61st and 69th Street stations by the end of 2018. That never materialized.
Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer was particularly critical of how the MTA let the 52nd Street station fall into disrepair.
“The MTA should have overhauled that station years ago,” Van Bramer said. “The fact that we have to wait so long is a disgrace given the conditions.”
The station revamps also come at a time when the MTA has faced heavy criticism over falling debris from the 7-train tracks. Since February, there has been a series of incidents—such as a piece of wood impaling a car on Roosevelt Avenue near 65th Street.
Assembly Member Catalina Cruz said the stations in Jackson Heights and Corona are in poor condition, noting that every week she hears from constituents complaining about the 82nd St. station. They complain about the condition of the stairs the most.
Cruz, however, has little faith in the MTA to keep to the summer 2020 contract schedule.
“The MTA routinely blows these deadlines and the only deadline they meet is to raise our fare,” she said. “Their inability [to meet deadlines] hurts the community because people can’t get to work or school on time—or other important places.”
“I will be working with advocate groups and my colleagues who have been tackling this to make sure we are on top of MTA and the governor,” Cruz said.
State Sen. Mike Gianaris noted that the MTA has been underfunded for years. However, he did say that the MTA has not always spent the capital it’s been allocated with wisely.
He said that when it revamped many of the stations on the N/W line in Astoria in recent years the changes were largely cosmetic and didn’t include elevators or improve service.
“I hope that when they do the work…service and accessibility improves,” Gianaris said.
I have a question: why is it 52st -Lincoln Ave , where is Lincoln Ave. I used to work there in the late 80’s and this was my stop. Pre Internet & Wikipedia days. One Friday evening after a few drinks, myself and a couple of other guys scoured the neighborhood looking for Lincoln Ave. could not find it. Can you please find out
Can someone report on what happened to Maguire’s and what’s going up in its place?
Why the thumbs down??? the residents will complain if they work late at night, then complain if it takes a year . Time for people to grow up if you want things to get done fast in NYC.
111st is ancient. I got stuck there with a double-carriage and could not get it passed the tiny 3 doorways (two sets of them) that were built way-back-when (world’s fair days). Even with the carriage folded I had to shove it thru the narrow doorways.
The MTA should not forget that they should also include the 90th Street-Elmhurst Avenue station. That station looks really old and it needs rehabilitation work too. I really hope that those stations get elevators installed during the stations renovations. The MTA must now include elevators to all of those stations that will be renovated during the stations renovations.
The reason it takes so long are the residents….You can only make noise during certain hours then when it rains or snows nothing can get done, but when its bright sunny weather no work can be done overnight.
Years ago they replaced the greenpoint ave exit bridge and they worked overnight….SO WHAT?? instead of opening the windows we had to leave the AC on to mask the noise it was only for a few weeks anyway.
They gonna do what they did to the Astoria N stops: Close a few for 6-9 months, then do a few more. I wouldn’t hold my breath on elevators being added where there’s none now.
Yes, the MTA renovated Queens stops on the “N” line… and now every single day there are young people jumping the turnstiles…
Geez. There’s the pain caused by not fixing the station and the pain caused by fixing it. One of the choices has an end date and the other doesn’t. Choose one.
They should add more churro ladies
While the work needed is long overdue, I think that there will be station closures during the work and that it going to increase commute time as you will likely have to walk to the next station to get the train. Can’t imagine how many people will be on the train platforms that are open. More push and shove more delays.
ELEVATORS elevators ELEVATORS mandatory in every station…
Wait til you cant navigate stairs & see what life is like…
all Toronto subway stations have elevators and escalators. but Canada is a 1st world country, so I doubt nyc can ever catch up. and to be fair, all stations are dilapidated, not just 52nd street. what did you expect when the train is above ground? what an ingenious idea that makes the trains go much much slower and have the tracks weathering and withering away.
The new staircase at Manhattan bound 52nd street is not even level!!!
We were waiting for the 7 yesterday morning at 52nd St and a giant leaf fell down next to our feet. I looked at it: it was a leaf-size piece of peeling paint. That cannot be healthy.
Typical of the MTA. Let’s not maintain anything until it shows signs of decay. 52nd Street Lincoln Ave is my station. It needs to be worked on. Is it THE WORST station in the system? Hardly! Byford is to date the WORST person running the MTA.
It’s about time! One virtually needs mountain climbing gear to negotiate the steps at 52nd St.
Elevators at the Vernon jackson stop please!
One thing that would be great are ticket vending machines on the platform, so I can reload my Metrocard while I wait for my train. All the 7 train stations, apart from Hudson Yards, are disgusting and need a complete facelift. This is the third world.
I’m glad for the Woodside neighbors… those stations’s stairs are hazardous.
And I’m afraid for Sunnyside, that means more delays and forget about 7 train on weekends… shuttle service to 46th? Then prepare for the massive crowds
They need to begin with 52 Street Station. It’s stairs are completely uneven and dangerous.