R train riders, rejoice! After a 13-month shutdown, the long-absent train is up and running again, as of 6 a.m. this morning. The closure, which stopped R service between Whitehall Street and 71st Avenue in Queens, and between 95th Street and Court Street in Brooklyn, has plagued commuters since last August. Like this summer's G train shutdown, the line was closed due to damage from Hurricane Sandy. Though the train was in service between December 2012 and August 2013, officials reported that the salt water that entered the tube during the storm (an estimated 27 million gallons of it) had corroded tracks, signs and lighting. Service was suspended for full repair work, and over the past year crews replaced 11,000 feet of track, 30,000 feet of concrete and terra cotta duct banks, 75,000 feet of power cable and 200,000 feet of communications cable. The project is finally complete, $250 million later.
“This tunnel is safer, stronger and more resilient than ever before, and everything on this section of the R train is new—new rails, new signals, new pumps and new power supplies," Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement yesterday. "We’ve made it a top priority to reimagine our state to withstand the new reality of extreme weather, and today is another example of how that approach is making this a safer state for all.”
Now if only we could fix that bed bug problem.