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 tunnel that ferries the L train between Manhattan and Brooklyn will be shut down for 18 months beginning in 2019, the MTA announced.
The shutdown will affect hundreds of thousands of riders and will likely be one of the biggest disruptions in the history of the subway. It's being done to make repairs to the Canarsie Tube, the East River tunnel that was inundated by more than 7 million gallons of floodwater during Sandy in 2012.
"While the MTA always looks to avoid service disruptions, there is no question that repairs to the Canarsie Tunnel are critical and cannot be avoided or delayed," said MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast.
The shutdown is one of two proposals the MTA had been considering, with the other option being a partial shutdown for three years. MTA officials said the total shutdown was chosen because it was more efficient and had more support from community boards among the line.
The New York Times first reported the shutdown.
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.
Shuttle buses and additional trains on several lines that cross paths with the L are among the alternatives that have been suggested during the shutdown, but the MTA's exact plan wasn't immediately clear.
The MTA said that during the shutdown, repairs would be made to damaged equipment in the tunnel and at stations closest to the East River. Additional electric substations would be installed to accommodate additional trains, along with cosmetic upgrades to several lines.
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.