Straphangers at two Bronx subway stations should start making alternate commuting plans, as the Castle Hill Avenue and Middletown Road stations along the 6 line are set to close this weekend for renovations that will stretch into next spring. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.
For 6 train riders in the Bronx, the next stop won't be Castle Hill Avenue or Middletown Road.
On Saturday, the pair of nearly century-old stations are closing for seven months so they can undergo extensive renovations that will eventually leave them looking a lot newer, but have commuters hopping on buses or taking longer walks in the interim.
"Walking all the way from Parkchester or taking the bus all the way from Parkchester is going to be really difficult," said one commuter. "And on top of that, it's going to be the winter, so it's going to be freezing."
The weathered stations are set to get new street and platform-level stairs, canopies, rebuilt platform edges and systems aimed at keeping away pesky pigeons.
Riders said the work is long overdue.
"The walls seem to be rotting and the ceiling seems to be rotting," said one commuter. "And I'm sure they're going to do a great job."
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will run more Bx4 buses between the Castle Hill Avenue stop and the nearby Parkchester station. At the Middletown Road station, there will be extra Bx8 buses during the morning and evening rush.
"Any way you need to go, you'll find a way. There's never just one way to get somewhere," said one rider. "That's why there's subways, different buses all over the place."
Every day, close to 10,000 riders use the two stations. They're far from the only ones that will be feeling the sting when they close. Shopkeepers next to the elevated tracks on Westchester Avenue are dreading the loss of patrons who come in or out of the stations.
"A lot of customers come and they take the bus, they take the train every early morning, and when they close, it's bad for business," said one worker.
"Very bad for business, and maybe, we will close," said one worker.
Some riders are already looking to next May, when the stations are set to reopen.
"I don't know how the people are going to commute with the skipped stations, getting back and forth from work, but it's worth it in the long run," said one commuter.
Will they still feel that way, though, after the long autumn, winter and spring?