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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Stephen Rees

The dreaded L train shutdown may be shortened by three months

By Clayton Guse
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When the MTA announced an 18-month shutdown of L train service between Manhattan and Brooklyn beginning in 2019, people understandably freaked out. The affected parts of the line serve more than 225,000 riders every day, leaving a huge swath of the city's population dreading a year-and-a-half of inconvenient and delayed commutes. 

But it's looking like the closure won't be as bad as previously expected. 

The MTA board has floated a proposal that would cut construction time by three months, causing the project to begin in April 2019 instead of January. The shorter timeframe comes from a proposed $15 million incentive for contractors working on the line to complete the work in 15 months—it will be voted on in the next week.

The impending L-pocalypse will allow for crews to do necessary work on tracks and train tunnels that were damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and is one of many projects that will fix damages caused by the storm. 

The authority initially debated over two proposals for work on the line: a three-year partial shutdown of the train, and an 18-month shutdown of service between the boroughs as well as the closure of every L train stop in Manhattan. They went with the latter, but the latest proposal should bring a shred of hope to everyone who's treating the stoppage of service like it's the end of the world.

Here's hoping that the shorter time frame gets approved. After fare hikes instituted by the MTA board went into effect over the weekend, subway riders could use some good news. 

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