Astoria, Transportation
May 21, 2014

What’s Up With the Ditmars Subway Station Stairway Construction

In our post about Mike’s Diner renovations, we mentioned the big blue plywood fence across the street around the northwest subway staircase. We got curious about what exactly they are (…)

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In our post about Mike’s Diner renovations, we mentioned the big blue plywood fence across the street around the northwest subway staircase. We got curious about what exactly they are doing there, and found out these details from the MTA:

This project will replace two stairs at the Ditmars Boulevard Station on the Astoria Line in the borough of Queens. Work will include replacement of stair canopy, treads & risers, handrails, new lighting, concrete work at the sidewalk, and other minor repairs. All deficiencies of the selected stairs will be eliminated. Construction of this project is part of the MTA’s small business mentoring program.

Looks like the cost is bit over $1M:


Via the MTA.

Here’s hoping they don’t install those terrible, see-through staircases they used for the southeast stairway. I noticed that there is a sign near the southwest staircase, so no doubt they will be working on that one in the not too distant future. Both staircases are expected to be ready by October 2014.

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.



Seriously, over a million dollars to replace two staircases and crazy timeframes to get it done? Nikita is right… no wonder they never have money despite having millions of paying customers.


I hope they fix the canopy to all the stairs on this subway line not just Ditmars. I notice on the Broadway Station when it rains water leaks through holes and hits me on the head Yuck. Hope they put some good rubber or something on the stairs. I saw so many people fall down the stairs this past winter. Although most is their fault. No running down the stairs especially when it’s slick!


I’d like to remind everyone that the Empire State Building was built (start to finish) in 13 months.

There is NO reason it should take the MTA this long to replace a set of stairs.

We should all be outraged.


Thanks for sharing that amazing construction time fact about The Empire State Building!


I agree with Nikita, my mom’s 76 and she’s very active but these stairs are killing her a little more each time. Same for pregnant ladies and people with kids – why is it so hard to replace them with escalators or put an elevator somewhere? Astoria is full of elderly and those with children, why not make their lives easier? I really was hoping that’s what they were doing, until I read this article just now. Sorry mom, I’ll still have to hold your hand to help you go up those darn stairs! *sigh*


Thanks for your comments Nikita and Engin. Likely they’d put an elevator at Astoria Blvd because of the M60 and people with luggage, before they’d do it at Ditmars (unless they do something drastic to make the Ditmars stop the place to transfer to transit to LGA). I did a little research and can’t find any indication the elevators are in store for the Ditmars station in the foreseeable future. Here’s an article from last year that includes voices like yours in favor of an elevator at Ditmars:


Thanks for the article. I just still can’t wrap my head around a million dollars for a couple of stairs replacement. The money wasn’t even shelled out by MTA. But since it’s taxpayer money = government contracts, I’m not too surprised by how incredibly slow and costly this is. I had family who worked in the contractors side for government and they milked them really good and slowly.


As much as I like the stairs at Ditmars Station, they should really put an elevator up for the disables and people with strollers. It’s the last stop of the N/Q and there’s no stairs anywhere for the stations for the needed. As I am still young and childless, it’s fine for me but I hate to see people struggling to get up and down the stairs.

Maybe I’m naive with money, does a couple of replacement of stairs without much add on cost a million dollars? No wonder the metrocard has to hike up price every another year.


They’re also doing construction on one of the staircases at the Broadway stop until May 31st. I guess its for this same reason.


I just did a search and came up with this:

The project scope was reduced to street stair work and the associated construction budget was transferred to five separate subprojects: two projects for “Replacement of 2 Stairs at Ditmars Boulevard Station on the Astoria Line (SBMP)”, and projects to “Replacement of 2 Stairs at 39 Avenue Station on the Astoria Line (SBMP)”, “Replacement of 2 Street Stairs at Broadway on the Astoria Line (SBMP)”, and “Replacement of 1 Street Stair at Broadway on the Astoria Line (SBMP)”. These projects will be administered under the Small Business Mentoring Program. Any residual budget was transferred to the “Reserve: Station Component Work” project. The remaining budget is only for design activities.


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