The F train is shutting down nights and weekends until March 2021

Repairs are scheduled to begin this August.

Collier Sutter
Written by
Collier Sutter
nyc train and skyline
Photograph: Shutterstock

With the L train project finally checked off its list, the MTA is turning its attention to the next and final renovation—the F train.

The last of the 11 tunnels damaged by Superstorm Sandy is set to undergo major repairs for the next eight months beginning in August. The MTA will reconstruct the Rutgers Tube, which carries the F train between Brooklyn and Manhattan under the East River. The planned work will take place from 10pm to 5am most nights and weekends during the period of construction, according to the MTA.

But don’t panic—the F train repairs will not cause as much of an inconvenience (and misery) as the L Train project did, THE CITY reports. The Rutgers tunnel was significantly less damaged than the Canarsie tube during Sandy, flooded by 1.5 million gallons of seawater during Sandy compared to the Canarsie Tube which was impacted by 7 million gallons.

The F train is also surrounded by considerably more tracks so services can be diverted. During nights and weekends, service will be re-routed via the A/C lines.

"The F can run over other lines, so customers will only be impacted at two stations on nights and weekends," Tim Mulligan, deputy chief development officer of MTA Construction & Development, told THE CITY.

F trains will be rerouted over the C Line between Jay St-MetroTech and W 4th St., and over the E line from W 4th St. to 36 St. in Queens. As a result, E trains will then be rerouted over the F line between 36 St. in Queens and a temporary station at Delancey St. in Lower Manhattan. East Broadway and York St. stations will be closed entirely select weekday evenings after 10pm, as well as select weekends.

This project will draw on lessons learned during the extensive L project in order to reduce impact for riders this time around, the MTA says. That includes shortening the construction period to 14-months, which will be the fastest of all Sandy tube rehabilitations (which averaged 28 months).

"The L train project demonstrated that the MTA can deliver major projects much faster and at less cost than anybody expected," said Janno Lieber, President of MTA Construction & Development. "Now, with the Rutgers (F Train) tube, we’re on a mission to prove that we can make it the norm, as we continue to embrace advanced technologies and private sector development techniques."

What is the MTA fixing? The project will feature replacement of track, signal equipment, power and communication cables, fan plant equipment, tunnel lighting and pumps, and "relocating the pump controls outside of the flood zone and providing a backup generator connection” to help with any water that could hit the tube during future storms.

"Once complete, we will have rehabilitated every tunnel damaged during Sandy, further fortifying the system against future natural disasters," said Sarah Feinberg, Interim President of MTA New York City Transit. "We’re working to make sure this work leads to as few disruptions as possible for our customers and look forward to getting this vital project underway in the weeks ahead."


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