As part of an effort to speed up its emergency repair plan, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has announced plans to close the E and M line tunnels under East River between Manhattan and Queens for five days at the end of this month, the New York Times reports. The shutdown will start early on December 26 and end early on Dec. 31, taking advantage of a rare lull: Almost a million fewer people use the subway during that time than other weeks of the year— five million compared with 5.9 million according to MTA data.
Phil Eng, the Transportation Authority’s chief operating officer, said it will cost less to do the repairs all at once. In the downtime, the tunnel will fill with 400 workers around the clock who will lay 20,000 feet of cable to improve signals and replace 2,000 feet of subway rails and 700 feet of track.
The latest shutdown is part of the $836 million Subway Action Plan put into place after
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared a state of emergency this summer. The plan is being overseen by Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman Joseph J. Lhota. During the five-day shutdown the E train will run along the F line instead of its usual track from the West Fourth Street station in Manhattan to the Roosevelt Avenue station in Queens. There will be no regular M train service, but shuttle trains will run between the Middle Village-Metropolitan Avenue station and the Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenue station in Brooklyn.
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