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L train shutdown officially canceled (We mean it this time)

By Michaela Kilgallen

Just when you thought the L train shutdown saga couldn’t get any more convoluted, it does.

Despite recent confusion, the MTA released a statement on Thursday officially announcing the cancellation of the L train shutdown.

The statement goes on to say that the MTA will adopt Governor Cuomo’s alternative rehabilitation plan for the Canarsie Tunnel, which would bypass a complete closure of the train.

Earlier this week, the plan was intensely debated by the MTA board during a surprisingly exciting 3-hour emergency meeting on Tuesday. Members questioned the long-term durability of the modifications, and the potential for workers and commuters to be exposed to carcinogenic silica. MTA Chairman Fernando Ferrer announced that the MTA would adopt the plan at the beginning of the month, but the board was set to officially vote this coming Tuesday.

If none of that made any sense, here is a brief timeline of the L train shutdown:

July 2016
The MTA announces an 18-month full shutdown of the L train beginning in 2019. 

April 2017
The shutdown is shortened to 15 months.  

Nov 2018
The official start date is announced as April 27, 2019. 

Dec 2018
Gov. Andrew Cuomo tours the Canarsie Tunnel with engineering experts from Cornell and Columbia Universities. 

Jan 3, 2019
Cuomo announces a 15-20 month alternative construction plan that would dodge a full shutdown. MTA Chairman Fernando Ferrer says the MTA will adopt the recommendations.

Jan 15, 2019
The plan is criticized at an emergency MTA board meeting. Members question whether they will have the ability to halt new plan. Ferrer responds vaguely, claiming the board has voting autonomy.  

Jan 17, 2019
The MTA releases statement officially announcing the cancellation of the shutdown, approval of Cuomo’s plan prior to scheduled vote. Construction start date still unannounced. 


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