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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

MTA mulls months-long closures to fix L Line subway tunnel

By Daniel Niepow, Associate Editor

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) could close its L line Canarsie subway tunnel for as long as 18 months for repairs, New York City media reported yesterday.

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy flooded the Canarsie Tunnel with 7 million gallons of saltwater.
Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

It's one of two options under consideration to repair the tunnel, which suffered extensive damage during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The second option calls for shutting down one track at a time over the next three years.

The project is expected to cost $800 million to $1 billion.

The Canarsie tunnel carries MTA New York City Transit L trains under the East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan, with about 225,000 riders traveling between the boroughs each weekday. The L is the only subway line between Manhattan and northern Brooklyn.

Hurricane Sandy significantly damaged tracks, signals, cables, lighting, cable ducts and bench walls throughout a 7,100-foot-long section of the Canarsie tubes, MTA officials said in February, when they announced plans to seek community input on addressing the damage.

Bench walls throughout those sections need to be rehabilitated to protect the structural integrity of the tubes.

The tubes were flooded with 7 million gallons of saltwater that deteriorated metal and concrete materials that make up the tubes' infrastructure, according to the MTA.

The agency will present the two repair proposals at a public meeting in Brooklyn today.

[Editor's note: This story was updated at 11:00 a.m. CDT]

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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