The upcoming work on the L and M subway lines will be extremely unpleasant for commuters from significant parts of Brooklyn and Queens. But residents on one block in Bushwick have it so much worse: Newsday reports that they face relocation from their homes for at least six months while the MTA renovates an elevated portion of the M line next year that runs just feet from their buildings.
The paper reports that the agency’s board approved the relocations last month, but that residents said they’d yet to be informed. (An MTA spokesperson told the paper that notices of the agency’s plans were mailed on Thursday and also hand-delivered on Friday.) Dozens of people living in a row of private homes on Ditmas Street, near where the M and J/Z trains diverge, will be affected, as will a coffee shop, a bicycle store, and an apartment building around the corner on Myrtle Avenue.
According to MTA documents, occupants are expected to be displaced for at least six months, but that could stretch to ten months or potentially even longer. The repair work involves demolishing and rebuilding a viaduct near the Myrtle Avenue station.
“We know this is going to be a serious inconvenience … We intend to help them however we can because it is essential we do this work,” MTA spokesperson Stephen Morello told the paper.
Newsday reports that the MTA said it planned to hire a relocation consultant in order “to provide suitable accommodations” and compensation to the residents. If property owners don’t want to return after the work is complete, the MTA says it will pay them fair market value for their homes, and resell them after the project has been completed.
The work on the M line is taking part in two locations: one near a curved section of track near the Ditmars Street buildings, and another near the line’s terminus in Middle Village. The plan is for work on the M line to be completed before the extensive process of repairing the L train tunnel under the East River begins.