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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikimedia Commons/Joesph Barbaro

The N train will close in Astoria for eight weekends this summer

By Clayton Guse
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The elevated N train in Astoria is too damn loud, and the MTA is going to spend a good chunk of the summer fixing it. 

The authority announced on Tuesday that the line will be closed between Astoria-Ditmars Blvd and Queensboro Plaza for eight weekends between May 20 and September 11. The shutdown is necessary to complete a $12.4 million project to replace track switches, swap out a 730-foot span of track just south of the Astoria-Ditmars station and rehab track panels that support the above-ground train. 

While Astoria residents might be disgruntled by the fact that they will not have access to their neighborhood's only train during key weekends this summer, officials say that the work is necessary to reduce track noise, which is loud enough to be a nuisance for the area. The N runs adjacent to the Judge Charles J. Vallone School (P.S. 85) in Astoria, making a day of school even more miserable of an experience for children there. 

"For the entire school community at P.S. 85, this is a sigh of relief," said City Council member Costa Constantinides in a statement. "Elementary school children should not have to bear the burden of repeated interruptions while engaging in the learning process. Their focus should be directed exclusively towards their work, teachers, and peers, not the constant bustle of a rumbling train."

The scheduled work will begin on the weekend of May 20, and will follow on the following two weekends, which include Memorial Day. Closures will continue in August over three consecutive weekends beginning August 12, and will finish on Labor Day weekend and the weekend of September 9.

During those weekends, the affected stations will be closed from midnight on Saturday through 5am on Monday (or Tuesday on Memorial and Labor Day weekends). The MTA will be providing free shuttle buses, and Astoria residents will be able to hop on the new NYC Ferry, which will is scheduled to begin service out of the neighborhood come August.

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