MTA seeks to accelerate Canarsie Tunnel rehabilitation, completing work in 15 months

Written by Maggie Lancaster, assistant editor
image description
MTA officials speak to the public and media at the Manhattan community meeting in May 2016 to discuss future L subway Canarsie Tunnel reconstruction work.
MTA/Patrick Cashin

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) seeks board approval this week to award a contract to accelerate the rehabilitation of the L train's Canarsie Tunnel under the East River.


The contract award calls for the tunnel work to be completed in 15 months, three months shorter than the previously discussed 18 months. Two stations would also see improvements made and a substation would be built that would allow more trains to run on the L Line, increasing capacity.

The $477 million contract, to be awarded to a joint venture consisting of Judlau Contracting, Inc., and TC Electric, also adds $15 million in incentives to complete the tunnel project in 15 months. Contractual provisions were included to expedite demolition, encourage acceleration of the tunnel work, deter delays and enable traffic mitigation work and the testing and commissioning of systems.

“The heavy damage sustained by the Canarsie Tunnel during Superstorm Sandy requires a full reconstruction in order to ensure the integrity of the tunnel and the safety of riders,” said MTA Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim.

The work under the contract will address the salt water damage caused by Superstorm Sandy in the tunnel to improve service and reliability for the riding public. The work in the tunnel will be completed during the closure of the tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan that is now planned to begin in April 2019.

Prior to the tunnel closure, extensive station work will be performed that will increase operational efficiency and improve accessibility and circulation. Station improvements at the 1 Av and Bedford Av L stations will include new stairways, and four ADA-compliant elevators and other work to improve customer flow.

Construction of a new Avenue B substation and other infrastructure will address power requirements that, combined with the existing CBTC signal system, will allow more trains to run on the line to accommodate growing ridership.

MTA New York City Transit has taken several steps to ensure the Canarsie Tunnel remains reliable until permanent repairs can be performed. The agency is inspecting the tunnel’s walls more frequently, and has installed redundant power cables to ensure the pumping system will operate without interruption.

Categories: Commuter/Regional, ON Track Maintenance, Safety/Training