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Rail News: Passenger Rail

MTA to maintain subway service during L tunnel repairs

Trains on the L line log 400,000 rides each day.
Photo – MTA


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) yesterday announced it accepted the recommendations of an engineering expert panel that determined a complete closure of MTA New York City Transit’s L train tunnel is unnecessary during repairs.

The recommendations include "a series of innovative engineering methods" that would streamline the required tunnel repair work and limit the impact on L train service, which registers 400,000 rides daily, MTA officials said in a press release. Work could be performed only during nights and weekends, with a single tube providing continued service in both directions during construction periods.
The plan was reviewed by the MTA, which confirmed the recommendations are achievable within 15 to 20 months. The work includes constructing new power substations, implementing storm and flooding resiliency measures, and completing station improvements, such as ADA accessibility upgrades.

"We have a shared goal in this effort: to make sure New Yorkers are subjected to the least possible disruptions as a result of this necessary repair work," said acting MTA Chair Fernando Ferrer. "With this project and all our major projects, we’re consistently looking for new and innovative methods, and the guidance and recommendations we have received will ease the strain on customers and help us ensure we are providing a consistently reliable service."

The 100-year-old tunnel — which is 1.5 miles long and runs under the East River — was filled with corrosive salt water during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Repair work was planned to start in spring 2019 and would have required a complete service shutdown for 15 months, MTA officials said.

Last month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo charged the expert panel with reviewing the repair and tunnel shutdown plan, and developing ways to maintain service during construction.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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