The MTA announced at a town hall meeting Thursday night that they would “decide in the next three months at most” on the final details for the planned Canarsie Tunnel work to repair damage caused by Hurricane Sandy that would halt L train service west of Bedford Avenue, according to DNAinfo. The agency is considering two options: shutting down service for that portion of the line completely for 18 months, or having partial service that would give only “one in five passengers service to Manhattan” (or 20 percent of current service) and last up to three years.
The MTA tells us how amazing the L train is and why we can’t have it in this video, which is actually pretty interesting.
Though the tunnel is “not in grave danger of collapse,” the MTA hopes to start work soon because the longer they wait,”the more likely it is that chunks of the tunnel wall will fall onto the tracks,” causing unplanned service and delays. Night and weekend service is off the table because of amount of work that needs to be done, and building a third tube would be time- and cost-prohibitive.
The agency hopes to be able to stick to the current plan of starting construction by 2019, according to MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz, though intermittent shutdowns may begin before then.
At the community meeting held at the Marcy Avenue Armory in Brooklyn–the first one held to address the topic–citizen groups like the L Train Coalition and rider advocacy group Riders Alliance voiced their frustration over the choices they were faced with, fearing that smaller businesses like stores and bars along the L would suffer from the lack of Manhattan access in addition to riders being faced with lack of job choices and miserable commute times.
A second public meeting to discuss the L train shutdown will be held at 5:30 PM on May 12 at the Salvation Army Theatre in Manhattan. The MTA will be visiting community boards along the L line to get feedback during the time leading up to the decision.
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