L Train Shutdown Could Be Shortened: MTA

What to Know

  • The L train will not run between Manhattan and Brooklyn for 18 months beginning in 2019, the MTA says.
  • The busy line will run between Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg and Rockaway Parkway in Canarsie during the shutdown.
  • The shutdown comes so crews can make repairs to the Canarsie Tube, which was inundated with 7 million gallons of floodwater during Sandy.

The MTA says the planned 18-month closure of the L train tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn could be shortened.

The Canarsie Tube under the East River is set to be shut down in April 2019 so that repairs could be made to the Sandy-flooded tunnel and to add storm resiliency measures. The MTA announced last summer the shutdown would last about 18 months. 

Now the MTA says it's seeking board approval to award an expedited contract to get the rehabilitation project finished in 15 months. The $477 million contract adds $15 million in incentives to complete the project in the shortened timeline. 

The contract would expedite demolition, encourage acceleration of the tunnel work, deter delays, enable traffic mitigation work, and the testing and commissioning of systems, the MTA says. 

The project will also improve the 1st Avenue and Bedford Avenue stations, and build a new Avenue B substation that will allows more trains to run on the L line, increasing capacity. 

The shutdown will affect hundreds of thousands of riders and will likely be one of the biggest disruptions in the history of the subway. 

While repairs are being made, L trains would run between Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg and Rockaway Parkway in Canarsie. All five stops in Manhattan would be closed during that time, according to the MTA.

The repairs come as ridership on the L has ballooned to more than 400,000 daily riders. The line, fed by an explosion of population in Brooklyn -- and Williamsburg and Bushwick in particular -- is the 10th busiest subway line in the U.S., according to the MTA. 

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