The R train could be pulling into the Canal Street station sooner than expected.
The Montague Street Tunnel repair project – also known as the Sandy repair project – may have been right on track as of a February Community Board (CB) 10 meeting but, according to Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) spokesperson Kevin Ortiz, the tunnel that the R train uses to get from Brooklyn to the Big Apple may take off even sooner.
“[The project is] on schedule for October or sooner,” Ortiz told this paper in an e-mail, echoing project supervisor Michael Naughton who told CB 10 in February that the Transit Authority is intending to open up the tunnel in October of this year, but inviting even more hope.
Since the MTA received a Notice to Proceed on June 31, 2013, an estimated 65,000 subway riders have been forced to switch routes in the wake of a 14-month closure between Court Street in Brooklyn and Whitehall Street in Manhattan on the R line. The tunnel was officially closed in August of 2013 for post-Superstorm Sandy repairs which included the demolition of existing duct banks, the removal of the original third rail and exiting cables, and a complete gutting of the original tunnel, leaving a fresh canvas for transit workers to rebuilt.
From there, the MTA has been working to replace 6,000 bolts that hold the tunnel’s 18-foot cast-iron tunnel in place as well as make more sustainable 300 entrances, stairways, vents and manholes in Manhattan.
According to Ortiz, that $308 million rehabilitation work is right on track, if not ahead of schedule – and Ridgeites are rejoicing.
“I’m very excited,” said CB 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann, “and I think all of Bay Ridge will be very excited that the R train will be back and that the tunnel will be open once again.”