Tag Archives: MTA Bridges and Tunnels

Flushing firm awarded $282M to repair Sandy-damaged Hugh L. Carey Tunnel


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of MTA Bridges and Tunnels

A third-generation Flushing construction firm was awarded a contract worth $282.5 million to repair the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel from damage it suffered during Superstorm Sandy.

Tully Construction beat out 24 companies for the contract to work on the former Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. The contract is the largest ever awarded to a construction company from the MTA Bridges and Tunnels division, the organization announced Monday.

The project is expected to take four years.

“We learned just how vital the HLC Tunnel is to the region in 2012 after Superstorm Sandy flooded the tunnel with approximately 60 million gallons of brackish water, compromising the life safety systems in the tunnel,” MTA Bridges and Tunnels President James Ferrara said. “This project will increase the level of resiliency against future weather events.”

Tully Construction will replace the traffic control and communications systems, add new lighting, replace the drainage system, do concrete repairs, add new wall titles, rehabilitate the Brooklyn toll plaza, repave the tunnel, and conduct a clean-up of salt, oil and other contaminants from Sandy flooding.

MTA service for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

From Wednesday, November 27, through Sunday, December 1 the MTA will operate on special schedules because of Thanksgiving weekend travel demands, according to the transit agency.

New York City Subways and Buses

New York City subways and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day. The closest subway stations to the start of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are the 1 at 79th Street and the C at 81st Street. There will be additional service on the 42nd Street Shuttle as well as increased early morning service on the 1 line. A number of bus routes will be impacted by the parade, and details will be provided at www.mta.info under “Service Status.” On Friday, November 29, service will operate on a weekday schedule with some exceptions listed at mta.info.

Long Island Rail Road

The Long Island Rail Road will provide extra trains on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 27, with extra afternoon eastbound trains to handle the expected getaway day rush home. On Thanksgiving Day, there are extra trains to get riders to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and extra trains them from the event. On Friday, November 29, there will be a regular weekday schedule with off-peak fares. There will be extra trains on Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1.

For more information, please click here.

Metro-North Railroad

Off-peak fares will be valid throughout the entire four-day period, and train schedules are adjusted to better serve more customers. On Wednesday, November 27, Metro-North will operate 20 extra afternoon trains departing Grand Central between noon and 4:10 p.m.

On Thanksgiving Day, Metro-North will provide additional inbound morning service for customers going to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. There is also expanded outbound service starting in the late morning and continuing until mid-afternoon for customers traveling to suburban destinations. There is expanded evening service for customers returning to New York City.

On the day after Thanksgiving, Metro-North will run fewer morning rush hour trains but more midday trains. Regular Saturday and Sunday schedules are in effect with extra trains on November 30 and December 1.

For more information, please click here.

Staten Island Railway

On  Wednesday, November 27 there will be extra trains added earlier in the afternoon beginning at 2:31 p.m. from the St. George Ferry Terminal. There will be one express train and one local train awaiting every boat until 7:50 p.m.

On Thanksgiving Day, November 22, SIR will operate a Saturday schedule, while on Friday, trains will run on a regular weekday schedule.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels

Routine maintenance and temporary construction work at all MTA Bridges and Tunnels crossings will be suspended beginning noon on Wednesday, November 27, through early Monday morning, December 2.

For more information, please click here.

 

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MTA Memorial Day weekend service


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by MTA / Patrick Cashin

The MTA will make the following service changes for the Memorial Day holiday weekend:

NYC Subways and Buses

MTA subways and buses will operate on Sunday schedule on Memorial Day.  Subway customers are reminded to use the A, C, D or Q instead of the D, and the J instead of the Z. Some subway routes are shortened and some of the changes are due to weekend work that extends through Monday.

As a reminder:

  • Q trains run between 57th Street-7th Avenue and Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue
  • J trains run between Jamaica Center and Chambers Street
  • L trains run between Rockaway Parkway and Lorimer Street only, with no service to Manhattan, due to tunnel work.
  • M trains run between Metropolitan Avenue and 57th Street/6th Avenue F Station to replace the L.
  • 5 trains are suspended this weekend due to track work.  Take 2 and/or 4 trains instead.

Long Island Rail Road

The LIRR will provide additional early-afternoon train service from Penn Station on Friday, May 24 on the Babylon, Far Rockaway, Montauk, Port Jefferson, Port Washington and Ronkonkoma Branches.  In addition, due to the overwhelming response, the LIRR’s new Cannonball – set to depart at 4:07 p.m. from Track 19 at Penn Station on Friday and travel express to Westhampton Station – is expected to be at full capacity with every seat in coach class taken along with the allowable number of standees.  So please get there early to allow extra time for boarding.

For more information, click here.

Metro-North Railroad

Beginning at noon on Friday, May 24, Metro-North will offer extra early afternoon departures from Grand Central Terminal on all three lines – Hudson, Harlem and New Haven.

For more information, click here.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels

MTA Bridges and Tunnels will suspend all routine maintenance work beginning 1 p.m. on Friday, May 24, through the end of the morning rush on Tuesday, May 28, to accommodate motorists traveling throughout the busy travel weekend. Motorists can ease their trip by using E-ZPass.

Staten Island Railway

MTA Staten Island Railway will operate its “Early Departure Get Away” schedule on Friday, May 24.  This schedule means extra SIR trains will be added earlier in the afternoon beginning at 2:30 p.m. from the St. George Ferry Terminal. There will be one express train and one local train awaiting every boat until 7:50 p.m. The Early Departure Get Away service plan on SIR is also available on Wednesday, July 3 (before Independence Day), Labor Day weekend, Christmas and New Year’s.  It will also operate on the day before Thanksgiving.

 

 

MTA fare hikes begin this week


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA's Flickr

MTA fare hikes that will increase MetroCard prices across the board will take effect on Sunday, March 3.

In addition to raising the base fare from $2.25 to $2.50, monthly, weekly and express bus rides will also go up, and the MetroCard discount will change from 7 percent off with every $10 purchased to 5 percent off with every $5 spent.

Long Island Railroad, Metro-North and Staten Island Railway tickets, Access-A-Ride fares, and MTA bridge and tunnel tolls will increase in early March as well.

Starting Sunday, the MTA is also introducing a “New Card Fee,” where riders will have to pay $1 each time they buy a new MetroCard at a machine or station booth. To ease that burden, the transit agency recently announced that customers can refill their MetroCards with a combination of both unlimited-ride time and pay-per-ride dollar values.

“This card is the most flexible MetroCard ever offered and the best way to avoid paying the $1 New Card Fee by refilling and reusing your current card,” said MTA interim executive director Thomas Prendergast. “We produce almost 160 million MetroCards each year at an annual cost of nearly $10 million. Many of the cards often end up as litter in the system, so by refilling your MetroCard, you’ll reduce expenses and help the environment.”

But saving the earth isn’t enough for riders that need to shell out more cash in an economy where pay raises are few and far between.

“It’s difficult because [I will be making] the same money,” Lilliana Napolitano of Flushing said about the fare hikes.
Donna Reid of Jamaica, who just read heard about the fare hikes this week, was unaware how much more she has to pay, and didn’t know that unlimited rides were increasing.

Even though Reid saves money by buying a monthly MetroCard to take the bus, she will have to spend an extra $8 every 30 days.

She also didn’t realize that straphangers will need to pay extra for each new MetroCard.

“I don’t see why they have to be charging [a New Card Fee],” while people already have to pay taxes,” she said.

 

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MTA introduces new E-ZPass payment method


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA's Flickr

E-ZPass payments are becoming even easier.

Drivers will no longer need to link their E-ZPasses to a credit card or maintain a minimum balance. Instead, they can deduct tolls from a bank account and pay the same day that an electronic pass is used, the MTA announced Tuesday.

“We believe this is a feature customers will welcome,” said Bridges and Tunnels President Jim Ferrara. “We listened to customers who were reluctant to use E-ZPass because they don’t like pre-paying for tolls and the result is MTA’s new Pay Per Trip.”

Though this new E-ZPass method doesn’t require a backup payment source, individuals without one must pay a $10 tag deposit fee.

This new payment method comes just two months before tolls increases take effect.

E-ZPass holders already pay less than those who use cash tolls, but when the cost to use MTA bridge and tunnels goes up in March, those savings will increase to $2.17 per trip at most crossings, according to the transportation agency.

For more information, call the New York E-ZPass Service Center toll free at 1-800 333-8655 or visit the Bridges and Tunnels homepage. To view frequently asked questions about Pay Per Trip click here.

MTA Thanksgiving weekend service


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Starting Wednesday, New York City buses and subways, and area regional trains will operate on special schedules for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Subways and Buses

On Thanksgiving Day (November 22), subways and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule, with additional service on the 42nd Street Shuttle for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Also, some bus routes will be impacted by the parade.

On Friday, subways and buses will run on a weekday schedule with some exceptions.

LIRR

There will be additional LIRR trains on Wednesday, November 21 and Thanksgiving.

On Friday, it will operate on a near-normal weekday schedule, but off-peak fares will be in effect from Thursday through Sunday.

During the four-day weekend, riders can also use the Family Fare discount, where children aged five to 11 are just 75 cents, and parking will be free at many stations.

The LIRR will continue to run extra weekend trains for six holiday weekends, through December 30.

Metro-North

Metro-North will operate extra trains departing from Grand Central on Wednesday, beginning at 1 p.m.

On Thanksgiving, it will run on a holiday schedule with extra morning service into the city and extra late morning and early afternoon trains out of NYC for those attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day.

On Friday, Metro-North will operate on a Saturday schedule with extra service during a.m. and p.m. peak times. Thursday through Sunday, off-peak fares will be in effect, and parking will be free at many stations.

There will also be extra weekend trains on the New Haven, Harlem and Hudson Lines through December 30.

Staten Island Railway

There will be extra SIR trains added on Wednesday, beginning at 2:31 p.m. from the St. George Ferry Terminal. There will be one express train and one local train awaiting every boat until 7:50 p.m.

Bridges and Tunnels

Routine maintenance and temporary construction work at all MTA bridges and tunnels will be suspended starting at noon on Wednesday, November 21, until early Monday morning, November 26.

 

MTA service for Fourth of July holiday


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

The MTA will offer extra railroad service on Tuesday, July 3, to allow customers to get a head start on the Fourth of July holiday. On Wednesday, July 4, subways and buses will operate on a Saturday schedule, and theLong Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and Staten Island Railway will operate on a Sunday schedule. More details are below.

New York City Subway

On Wednesday, July 4, subways will operate on a Saturday schedule. There will be increased subway service on the 1, A, C, E, L and 42nd Street Shuttle S following the Macy’s fireworks celebration, which will originate from four barges located on the Hudson River between 18th and 43rd Streets from 9:20 p.m. to 9:50 p.m.

New York City Buses

Buses operated by MTA New York City Transit and the MTA Bus Company will operate on a Saturday schedule on Wednesday, July 4. There are many routes that either do not operate on Saturdays or do not run on part of the route at certain hours. Customers traveling on the Fourth of July should check Saturday schedules, lines and routes.

Long Island Rail Road

The Long Island Rail Road will provide additional early-afternoon service from Penn Station on Tuesday, July 3 for customers planning an early getaway for the start of the Independence Day holiday. The LIRR will be operating on a Sunday/holiday schedule on July 4th.

Metro-North Railroad

The railroad will operate 18 extra trains between noon and 4 p.m. for people leaving work early on Tuesday, July 3. In conjunction with this early rush hour, several regularly scheduled late PM peak trains will not operate

MTA Bridges and Tunnels

MTA Bridges and Tunnels will suspend all routine construction work at its seven bridges and two tunnels beginning at 1 p.m. on Tues., July 3rd through Wednesday’s July Fourth holiday to help smooth travel for drivers. Drivers can help ease traffic delays this year by taking advantage of several new initiatives, including the new MTA Reload Card, which allows motorists to reload E-ZPass accounts with cash at thousands of local retail stores, and the new MTA EZTravel app for iPhones, which allows passengers to see how traffic is moving at B&T crossings and other information.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

 

Alleged Cocaine Kingpin Nabbed In Queens Drug Ring Bust 

A 15-month investigation by the New York City Police Department and the Queens district attorney’s office has led to the arrest of 45 people, including a man who is allegedly one of the city’s biggest cocaine dealers. The investigation centered on two gangs in southeast Queens, the South Side Bloods and the Corley Crew, which police say brought in more than $15,000 a week in narcotics sales. Read more: [NY1]

 

Probe into John Liu’s campaign cash prompts extra caution among Queens pols 

John Liu’s money men are radioactive and another ambitious Queens pol is doing her homework to avoid the fallout. The names of campaign donors to surface in the federal probe of City Controller John Liu have been flagged by Grace Meng’s fundraising operation, a reminder to steer clear of their cash as the assemblywoman runs for the redrawn 6th Congressional District. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

Elmhurst Developer Criticized For Multiple Code Violations

Queens Senator Tony Avella gathered with community members in Elmhurst on Thursday to say they are outraged that the Department of Buildings continues to issues permits to developer Tommy Huang, even though he consistently violates building and zoning codes. Read more: [NY1]

 

New bills put historic districts in jeopardy, advocates say

Queens has a long history of getting left in the landmark dust. Newly proposed bills in the City Council could extend that history, preservationists said, putting future designations in jeopardy for the borough that has only a fraction of landmarks compared to Brooklyn or Manhattan. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

Off-duty cop busted for trying to sneak into better seat at Citi Field

You’re out. An off-duty cop was dragged out of a Mets game in handcuffs last night after he tried to sneak into a better seat at Citi Field, police sources said. Read more: [New York Post]

 

MTA Bridge & Tunnel Officers Told To Stop Caring For Rockaways Strays 

For decades, MTA Bridge and Tunnel Officers by the Rockaways say they have been taking care of stray cats in the area, but now they are being told by their bosses to stop. Read more: [NY1]

Whitestone Bridge project angers homeowners


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Wider Bronx pier 2010w

Homeowners in Malba Gardens are feeling the toll of the $109 million project to widen the Whitestone Bridge.

“Our homes in Malba Gardens, we take great pride in them. We put a lot of money into these homes, and the last thing we want to see is our values decrease from this expansion,” said resident Antonio Melone. “That is my domain, and I will do everything to protect it. And every resident in Malba Gardens is willing to do the same. If it takes for us to protest on that bridge, we will do that.”

According to MTA Bridges and Tunnels, the project will provide wider 12-foot lanes on the bridge with new emergency breakdown lanes. Reconstruction efforts also promise a brand new playground and new location for Francis Lewis Park, which is expected to open by early May.

But while construction may mean brand new swings, a jungle gym and newly-planted trees for the neighborhood’s children, parents are saying the overall picture is far from perfect.

“The bridge is actually moving 18 feet closer to the homes,” Melone said. “We also lost a lot of trees that were 40, 50 years old. There are a lot of issues and concerns that we have about this.”

Resident Alfredo Centola said losing the trees has not helped alleviate the growingly-noticeable noise issues since the project’s groundbreaking. The construction, he fears, will also lead to increased traffic and pollution. “As of right now, it’s an inconvenience, and there is a negative impact with the noise,” Centola said. “We just want to make sure when the construction is over that they’ll build an eight-foot wall to mitigate the noise.”

Malba Gardens homeowners said there was talk earlier about building a barrier to block out racket from the bridge, but officials said they could not verify the possibility due to the project’s premature stage.

That’s unacceptable. We can’t wait until the end of the project to know,” Centola said. “They’re stringing us along.”

MTA Bridges and Tunnels officials said construction on the Queens end of the bridge began in the fall. Ongoing work will take place for over two more years.