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.
What is this project?
Beginning in April 2019, L Train service in Manhattan will be suspended for 15 months so that the Canarsie Tunnel (which carries the L Train between Manhattan and Brooklyn) can undergo necessary post-Sandy repairs. April 2019 will be here sooner than we think, so 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 outage will cause. Since the L Train will be closed in Manhattan, the MTA will use this opportunity to make much-needed improvements to L Train stations in the borough.
To read more specifics about the preparations, click here.
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.
What has been happening lately?
There was a 30-day public comment period from July 20-August 19, 2018 on the MTA’s Supplemental Environmental Assessment . Following the close of the comment period, the Federal Transit Administration will review the comments and responses and make a formal determination after a review in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The MTA and DOT held community outreach meetings in early 2018. Click here to see materials the MTA and DOT shared at these outreach meetings. The MTA and DOT also presented their plans to CB6’s Transportation Committee on February 5, 2018. Click here to view the presentation.
On September 12, 2018, CB6 passed this resolution regarding the L train shutdown.
On October 30, 2018, the MTA announced through a press release that the shutdown will begin on Saturday, April 27, 2019.