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MTA seeks community input on rehab work for Hurricane Sandy-damaged tunnels


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has developed a plan to "engage in detailed community consultation" on how to proceed with repairs for the Canarsie Tubes, which carry MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) L trains under the East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The MTA plans to meet regularly with residents, businesses and other affected by the Canarsie Tube work. In addition, the agency will consult with elected officials representing the affected areas before making any decisions about the construction process and service alternatives, MTA officials said in a press release.

During Hurricane Sandy, the Canarsie Tubes suffered extensive damage to tracks, signals, switches, power cables, signal cables, communication cables, lighting, cable ducts and bench walls throughout a 7,100-foot-long section of both tubes. Bench walls throughout those sections need to be rehabilitated to protect the structural integrity of the tubes, MTA officials said.

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

"By soliciting input from the affected communities as this process moves forward, we will develop a stronger and more responsive plan for how to accomplish this vital work while respecting the concerns of those who rely on the L train," said NYCT President Veronique Hakim.

During the rehabilitation process, the MTA also will make significant improvements to stations and tunnel segments closest to the under-river section. New stairs and elevators will be installed at the Bedford Avenue station in Brooklyn and the 1st Avenue station in Manhattan, along with three new electric substations to provide more power to per ate additional trains during rush hours.

The Canarsie Tubes are one of eight under-river tunnels that flooded during Hurricane Sandy, all of which required extensive rehabilitation and repair, MTA officials said.

Although some of that work was accomplished during night and weekend closures, the R train's Montague Tubes under the East River were closed for more than a year for a complete renovation.

The MTA has been awarded almost $5 billion in federal aid for recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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