Astoria Blvd subway station in Queens to close for 9 months starting Sunday

ASTORIA, Queens (WABC) -- Subway riders who take the N and W trains from Queens to Manhattan will face a tougher commute starting this weekend.

One of the stops, the Astoria Blvd station, will close for nine months beginning Sunday.

The station will shut down until the end of the year for major upgrades.

"Unfortunately we have to deal with the MTA's renovation process and in the end it'll be good," said commuter Gus Munez. "But it's a pain in the butt to deal with in the meantime."

The MTA says the work is part of a multi-phase project to restore the well-traveled Astoria line. And the agency says it warned commuters early on of the changes that start at 10 p.m. Sunday.

Officials say the $95 million project includes adding four new elevators, making the station the first to be 100% accessible for commuters wheelchairs, suitcases, and baby strollers.

The work also includes raising the mezzanine that regularly gets hit by trucks.

Some shop owners are very concerned about the impact on their business. Lieqat Khan runs a convenience store just steps from the station.

"Nine months, we're going to lose a lot of money and a lot of our customers wll leave," he said. "Plus property tax, plus bills. Who's going to pay that?"

But in the end, many realize that to keep the stations current and safe, they have to deal with the inconvenience.

"I've seen the outcomes of Broadway and 36 Avenue so that has been an amazing turnaround and it's really good service that is in order now but the process itself is a long haul," said Munez.

The MTA says it will have a help desk in the station Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Click HERE for more information about the project from the MTA.

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