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Weeks of service disruptions coming to the No. 7

Transit workers repair the No. 7 line, with more work coming soon. (Photo courtesy NYC Transit)

The MTA will be scrapping weekend No. 7 service between Long Island City and Manhattan until April for rehab work, infuriating Queens riders on the heavily-used line.

“It feels like they’ve been repairing the line for almost 30 years,” said Robert De Los Santos, 40, a No. 7 rider from Jackson Heights. “Service is getting worse and worse.”

Beginning next weekend, there will be no 7 train service between Queensboro Plaza and Grand Central stations from 11:30 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday, with riders having to take shuttle buses to get to Manhattan on the E or N trains.

“To disrupt service for almost two months with only a moment’s notice ... is unacceptable,” Council Speaker Christine Quinn said Sunday.

The disruptions might end early if the MTA gets the work done faster, NYC Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges said, and the agency will beef up N service on the weekends to help straphangers.

“If we don’t work on the railroad, the railroad doesn’t work,” Fleuranges said.

The No. 7 has been a frequent target for work, with about 40 weekend disruptions between 2003 and 2009, according to a City Council report.

New condo developments in Long Island City has caused No. 7 ridership to boom, with the Vernon Blvd.-Jackson Avenue station logging the largest increase in commuters in the city, according to 2008 MTA statistics.

The MTA is sprucing up the tracks and replacing 80-year switches on the No. 7. The work must be done now, as transit doesn’t schedule disruptions during the baseball and tennis season out in Flushing, Fleuranges said.

Nicholas Klopsis contributed to this story.

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