MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) announced on Monday, July 25 that the massive reconstruction work needed for Canarsie Tunnel, which carries the L train under the East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan, will require a full closure of the tunnel for 18 months starting no sooner than 2019.
The Canarsie Tunnel was one of nine underwater tunnels that flooded during Superstorm Sandy and suffered extensive damage to tracks, signals, switches, power cables, signal cables, communication cables, lighting, cable ducts and bench walls throughout a seven-mile long flooded section of both tubes.
“While the MTA always looks to avoid service disruptions, there is no question that repairs to the Canarsie Tunnel are critical and cannot be avoided or delayed,” said Thomas Prendergast, MTA chairperson and CEO. “We are committed to working with the community just as closely as we develop ways to add service to help minimize the impacts of the closure.”
During this rehabilitation process, the MTA will also make significant improvements to stations and tunnel segments closest to the under-river section. New stairs and elevators will be installed at the Bedford Avenue station in Brooklyn and the First Avenue station in Manhattan, and three new electric substations will be installed, providing more power to operate additional trains during rush hours.