New Yorkers rejoice!
In a press conference on Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the previously announced 15-month shutdown of the Canarsie Tunnel, which services the L train between Manhattan and Brooklyn, would not go on as planned. The announcement comes less than four months before the tunnel was scheduled to close.
Under a new plan, weekday service will remain unaffected during the day, while weekend and overnight trains will run with 15 to 20 minute headways. The new plan saves roughly 250,000 New Yorkers from having a disrupted daily commute, and will take an estimated 15 to 20 months to complete.
"No L-pocalypse," said MTA chairman Fernando Ferrer.
As with the initial proposal, the MTA will still increase service along subway lines including the G, M and 7 trains during nights and weekends, officials said during the press conference. It remains unclear how the new plan will impact the NYC Department of Transportation's plan to convert 14th street into a dedicated busway during the shutdown.
This news comes after Cuomo toured the tunnel last month with representatives from Columbia University and Cornell University to assess saltwater damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. What followed was a three-week sprint that led to what the governor dubbed an "innovative" new proposal.
The construction recommendations implement new, less laborious technology that will only require one tube of the two-tube tunnel to be worked on at a time. Cuomo did not announce when construction will begin.
The plan will reinforce crumbling concrete bench walls, install new "racked" cabling and introduce a smart sensor system to monitor the structure of the tunnel.
"A closure of 15 months was highly problematic," Cuomo said. "What these people have designed is the first of its kind in the United States of America."