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No. 7 to be shut 3 weekends

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The Metropolitan Transit authority said the subway line will not operate between the two stations from Friday night to Monday morning during the weekends of Jan. 12, Jan. 19 and Jan. 26 while track repairs are completed along the busy transit route. The MTA said the service will be replaced by an average of 60 buses per hour that will run along the route, transporting an estimated 10,000 people during peak hours. Police from the 109th Precinct said they expect heavy traffic in downtown Flushing during the weekend, and are asking travelers to adjust their weekend plans to avoid or account for potential delays. "We're talking about 60 buses in addition to what's already coming through there," said Community Affairs Officer Kelly Glennon. "So that's a lot of people and a lot of buses. It's going to be congested." To help alleviate potential congestion problems, the Long Island Rail Road will also be offering free one-way tickets to Manhattan from Flushing from 6:45 a.m. to midnight during the closure period. Officer Kevin O'Donnell of the 109th Precinct stressed that the ticket is one-way only, and riders will have to pay full fare to return to Flushing via the LIRR.O'Donnell also said during the closure period, there will be no parking on either side of 39th Avenue between Prince Street and Main Street to help accommodate the additional buses. A temporary staircase and additional lighting are being erected at the Flushing LIRR station for the larger-than-normal crowds expected and the MTA said it will have a stepped-up police presence in and around the station. The 109th Precinct also said additional traffic officers and police officers will be deployed to the area to help keep traffic moving. O'Donnell said the subway shutdown may be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather and such changes will be posted on the MTA's Web site at www.mta.info. Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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