Dec. 13, 2017 By Christian Murray
The MTA is shutting down the 53rd Street tunnel that connects the E and M trains between Queens and Manhattan from Tuesday, Dec 26. to Sunday, Dec. 31.
The complete closure of the tunnel–which goes below the East River–will lead to significant changes for Forest Hills residents who depend on the those lines.
The E train will not be operating between Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue and West 4th Street during this period. The M train will be closed in Queens altogether.
The MTA is using the 5-day period to bring in more than 500 workers to work on the tunnel. The workers will be installing cables for signal improvements, replacing track and clearing debris.
The agency said it is doing the work during a week when ridership is low. The MTA said that it will achieve the equivalent of a month’s worth of weekend work over the 5-day period.
The E train at Forest Hills-71st Avenue will be re-routed to the F train. The E train at the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue station will also be re-routed to the F train
The F train uses a different tunnel– the 63rd Street tunnel–to connect Queens and Manhattan.
The change in service will have a major impact on those riders who depend on the E train at Court Square and Queens Plaza in Long Island City since there is no F train service at those stations. The closest F train to those stations is 21st Street–Queensbridge.
The E and M closures start at 5 a.m., Dec. 26 and go through to 8 a.m., Dec. 31.