What is this project?
Beginning April 26, 2019 at 10 PM, the L train in Manhattan will experience reduced service on nights and weekends through Summer 2020 so that the Canarsie Tunnel (which carries the L Train between Manhattan and Brooklyn) can undergo necessary post-Sandy repairs. The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) are closely collaborating on surface and subway transportation improvements to prepare for the disruption that the L Train Project will cause.
Why is this project necessary?
The Canarsie Tunnel was inundated with saltwater during Superstorm Sandy, causing the corrosion of cabling, power infrastructure and track equipment. While minor and emergency repairs were conducted at the time, a complete overhaul is needed to bring the tunnel back to a state of good repair.
On May 6, 2019, the NYC Department of Transportation gave a presentation to Manhattan Community Board Six’s Transportation Committee on the proposed M14 Select Bus Service, which would provide an alternative to the L train for people on 14th Street during the L slowdown.
On April 22, 2019, the MTA released a flyer breaking down the changes to L train service, as well as travel alternatives for the times of the week when there will be changes to L train service. You can find the flyer here. The MTA also released station-specific guides for the 1st Avenue, 3rd Avenue, and 14th Street-Union Square stations. Finally, the MTA released a tweet on April 22nd explaining these service changes on the L and lines that will act as alternatives to the L.
On April 15, 2019, the MTA released a map and a description of the L train service for the duration of this project, as well as service alternatives during the times when L train service will be reduced as a result of work on the L train tunnel. Click here to view the map and description.
On January 23, 2019, CB6 sent the Acting Chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority-New York City Transit and the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation a letter regarding plans for the L train. Click here to view that letter.
On January 3, 2019, Governor Cuomo announced that the impending full shutdown of the L train between Manhattan and Brooklyn, scheduled to start in April 2019, would be canceled. A panel of engineers from Columbia University and Cornell University determined that, by utilizing new technological innovations, the necessary work to repair the tunnel could occur without a complete shutdown. Click here to read the press release from the MTA on this change. This proposed plan must still be voted on my the MTA Board and the governor has called on the Board to hold an emergency meeting as soon as possible. This represents a significant change to this project and some details still need to be sorted out. Andy Byford, President of new York City Transit (NYCT) has indicated that NYCT will engage an independent firm to review the plans for the L train. NYCT is also communicating with the Federal Transit Administration and other federal partners regarding a necessary review and any funding ramifications of the new plan. Click here for an FAQ sheet released by NYCT. You can also visit the MTA’s new website on the L Train Project here.