Prepatory work on New York City Transit's (NYCT) L Line Canarsie Tunnel will begin this month to ensure the tunnel remains useable until larger repairs can be made.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) says NYCT will conduct critical repairs in order to ensure the tunnel can remain open until the tunnel’s planned April 2019 closure for full rehabilitation from the damage cause by Superstorm Sandy. The Canarsie Tunnel suffered extensive damage to tracks, signals, switches, power cables, signal cables, communication cables, lighting, cable ducts and bench walls.
Crews will replace ties from 8 Av to Broadway Junction and install continuously welded rail for smoother rides and less upkeep. Crews will also inspect the communications systems along the line and perform maintenance on other track and tunnel infrastructure. The preparatory work includes surveys of the tubes, tracks and other areas within the track tunnel, which cannot be performed while trains are in service and the third rail is energized.
In addition to assuring safe, reliable service through the Canarsie Tunnel, MTA says work performed during the two scheduled weekend service outages between the 8 Av station in Manhattan and the Broadway Junction station in Brooklyn will allow crews to also begin prep work for the full-scale $477 million in planned repairs in 2019. Work will be performed on weekends due to lower ridership and a holiday weekend, which will result in one less weekend outage needed.
To expedite construction and minimize service disruptions for hundreds of thousands of L Line customers, the MTA chose to completely close the Canarsie Tunnel in both directions during the repairs to decrease the work timeline, which was initially expected to take 18 months. In March, the MTA Board approved a $477 million contract that calls for completing the work in 15 months. During the tunnel repairs, L service will continue to operate within Brooklyn.