January 20, 2019

L Trains' Shutdown Averted in NYC

07 January 2019, 01:03 | Hattie Nash

Modal Trigger Robert Mecea

Andrew Cuomo

The announcement comes two weeks after Cuomo took a personal midnight tour of the L train tunnel Thursday ahead of the big fix project. The L line, which ferries 250,000 riders a day between the two boroughs, still requires extensive repairs to fix the corrosion caused by the storm. Cuomo concluded, at that time, that the project could not be changed, and the tunnel would have to be shut down for the planned 15 months.

The old plan required crews to remove concrete tunnel walls to access and replace damaged electrical cables before rebuilding the walls - a labor- and time-intensive process. And the new plan could be accomplished with night and weekend work instead of a shutdown.

The agency could have gone with a three-year partial shutdown, but the MTA decided in mid-2016 that it would be better to close the Canarsie Tube completely starting in the spring of 2019.

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The work could be completed on nights and weekends only, with a single tube providing continued service in both directions during work periods.

Engineers say they will also be installing sensors inside the tunnels, so if there is any shifting in those power lines, they will immediately be alerted. Unstable portions will be repaired, and the rest will remain as is.

"It has been implemented in Europe", he said. They came up with that design suggestion.

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It will keep from the tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan from having to fully shut down and with 250,000 commuters that rely on the L train, Cuomo wants to be sure that "as Governor of the State of NY that I can look New Yorkers in the eye and say we have gone through the project, we have gone through the project with the best minds on the globe and this is the best way to do it and the fastest way to do it". Cuomo reportedly told reporters.

"So, if there is a plan that can be better for the people of our neighborhoods, that's great, but I want to reserve any further judgment until I hear more", he said.

Seated between a panel of engineering experts from Cornell and Columbia Universities and representatives from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Cuomo repeatedly touted the innovative nature of the proposed solution-as well as his success in building the new Mario Cuomo Bridge. Brown said she had been anxious about what the shutdown would mean for business, and whether the alternatives the MTA had proposed in terms of buses, ferries and other subway lines would have worked.

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Plainly, the governor woke up Friday feeling stung by the skeptics who were daring to question the viability of his surprise L-train plan.

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