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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikimedia Commons/Pacific Coast Highway

The main subway tunnel between Manhattan and Queens will close for five days this month

By Heather Corcoran
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In a year filled with MTA horror stories that saw straphangers late, stuck and generally pissed off, the state's transportation authority has decided to end the year with another blow for New York City riders.

Travelers between Manhattan's 50th Street Station and Queens Plaza on the E and M lines will have to find another way to get around when the tunnel connecting the boroughs closes for five consecutive days between Christmas and New Year's Eve, starting on December 26. The total shutdown will allow more than 400 workers to toil 'round the clock to lay wire to repair signals and replace some 2,700 feet of track and rails.   

The decision to completely close the tunnels—as opposed to more traditional overnight or weekend shut-downs—to save money and expedite repairs comes as the beleaguered transportation authority faces what Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency. The unlucky dates were chosen because subway ridership dips from an average 5.9 million to five million people a day in the week between the holidays. 

Here's hoping the inconvenience is worth it. In the meantime, we have a few ideas of our own for how to handle the city's steaming, dripping, stinking, unreliable underground mess. 

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