Ahead of the revised partial shutdown happening at the end of the month, the L train is shutting down. Starting Monday, April 15, the line will not run for 10 weeknights between Manhattan and Brooklyn from 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday through Friday. The shuttered service allows the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to install signal equipment to prepare for rehabilitation work on the Canarsie Tunnel set to begin April 27, as amNY reported.
The pre-shutdown shutdown starts on April 15 and lasts until April 26. According to the MTA, installing the signals over the next two weeks prepares the agency for the one-track operation.
“We’ll also take this time to prepare the tunnel for the rehabilitation work, delivering materials, pulling fiber optic cable and installing tunnel lights so we can work efficiently during the one track operation,” the MTA’s website on the project reads.
For those looking to travel between Manhattan and Brooklyn, the agency recommends taking the A, F, or J trains. The M14 bus will take riders to L stations in Manhattan; the L train will still run between Lorimer and Canarsie-Rockaway Parkway. The G will be running every 20 minutes in two sections, between Court Square and Bedford-Nostrand, and between Bedford-Nostrand and Hoyt-Schermerhorn.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in January that the full shutdown of the L train, which had been in the works for years, was no longer necessary because of a new method that would allow for construction to take place on nights and weekends.
This revised plan, presented by the governor and university engineers just three months before the planned shutdown, requires repair work to take place on one tunnel at a time. Instead of demolishing the bench walls to remove the old cables, the new plan leaves the cables there, reducing the amount of construction needed.
Concerns about safety issues from the planned tunnel construction have been brought up by transit advocates and a handful of MTA workers, who have cited the potential for hazardous silica dust to be kicked up during the work. Transit officials had rejected a similar L train plan five years prior over safety and feasibility concerns.
A group of train operators called on the MTA this week to postpone the project until a third party has reviewed the revised plan. As Gothamist reported, the workers handed out flyers warning of the possible silica dust, overcrowding on the platforms, and the condition of the tunnel bench walls.
Max Young, a spokesperson for the MTA, told Gothamist that the workers are “a fringe group seeking to advance their own political agenda within the union.” Young continued: “Safety is the MTA’s top priority for the L project, as it is with any project or decision we make, and these claims are not only outrageous and false, they are irresponsible to the public.”
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