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L train repairs are officially done—three months early

Collier Sutter
Written by
Collier Sutter

Good news for L train riders!

The dreaded L train slowdown is officially behind us. The necessary repair job on the East River L train tunnel has been completed early, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday. 

"Even in the face of this unprecedented global health [situation], the MTA delivered this project safely, months ahead of schedule, well under budget and with no shutdown of service," added Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye. "This innovative approach is further proof that the ‘new’ MTA is committed to doing things differently."

The initial damage was caused by flooding from Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and left the L train reduced to 20-minute apart nights and weekends. While the repairs were underway, the line shared a single tube in both direction between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The completed project fixed crumbling concrete bench walls, installed new "racked" cabling and introduce a smart sensor system to monitor the structure of the tunnel, with a pumping system to handle flooding during extreme weather events.

Cuomo put a halt to the MTA's original plans, which would have closed the tunnel completely for at least 15 months, and announced a new proposal in January 2019 to instead make repairs to the existing structure, to only partially close off the tunnel during its construction.

Today, the L train service will resume its previous service schedules with adjustments under the MTA Essential Service Plan. 

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