Straphangers coming from and going to Long Island City were relieved and happy after the MTA reopened the No. 7 train platform of the Court Square subway stop Monday.
“I’m really happy,” said a Bedford Stuyvesant straphanger who gave her name as Rachel. “It was kind of a pain getting off at 21st [Street, a G train stop,] and walking over.”
The Court Square station, at 45th Avenue and 23rd Street, had already undergone a major renovation in 2011 that combined three stations and allowed for access between the underground E, G and M trains and the elevated No. 7 train. Despite this, the elevated section was closed again Jan. 21.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said during the closure the agency rehabilitated the station’s platforms, outfitting them with new expansion joints, which absorb the expansion or contraction of the concrete due to weather conditions; tactile warning tiles, the bumps on the ground that alert riders they are standing too close to the platform’s edge; and track drains.
The agency also put up 510 feet of a new platform wall, spruced up the mezzanine, put in new sides along the stairways and did other improvements. The final renovations for the platform will make it accessible to people with disabilities.
“With full rehabilitation work nearly complete, the fast-growing area of Long Island City will have a refurbished and updated complex that will be fully accessible,” NYC Transit President Thomas Prendergast said in a statement.
The No. 7 train was also closed on weekends from Queensboro Plaza to Grand Central Station for signal repair during this period.
Fraser Wollard, who lives in Long Island City, said he thought the MTA did a good job of fixing up Court Square and was glad it opened on time.
“They said they were going to open on Monday and they did,” he said.
Another Long Island City resident, 33-year-old Maria Cooper, said she was relieved to have the Court Square station at full capacity.
“It was just a lot more walking,” Cooper said. “Plus, the other station [Hunters Point] was in a bad state of repair, so it was just more frustrating to get there.”
John Patten, 65, also lives in the neighborhood but had a more mixed review. He said he was glad to take the No. 7 train and a bus to get to his destination Tuesday instead of three trains, but he wished the platform had benches again.
“I need something to rest on,” he said.
The renovation did not impress Jacob Kim, a 17-year-old from Bayside, either.
“I thought it was a waste of time,” Kim said, “because this place didn’t really change much.”
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cn
©2012 Community News Group
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