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L Train shutdown shortened to 15 months (and set to start in April 2019)

l train
photo via Roshan Vyas

The MTA board voted today to approve the contract for the repairs on the Canarsie Tube, aka the L Train tunnel between the 1st Ave stop in Manhattan and the Bedford Ave stop in Brooklyn. Years after the tubes sustained major damage in the flooding during Hurricane Sandy, and after lots of speculation and debate on possible shutdown scenarios, the official timeline is for a 15 month shutdown between 8th Avenue in Manhattan and Bedford Ave in Brooklyn to start in April 2019. An improvement from the previously projected 18 months, but still a long time.

The NY Times reports:

The authority’s board voted to approve a $477 million contract to close the L train tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan for 15 months to repair damage caused by Hurricane Sandy — instead of 18 months as originally planned. The work is set to begin in April 2019.

After several board members raised concerns about a company that was awarded the contract, Judlau Contracting, officials assured the board that the company was the best choice for the project and would finish the work on time.

“I expect this project to be completed in 15 months,” said Lawrence S. Schwartz, an authority board member. “I want to make sure that Judlau and everybody else who is going to be involved on this project understands that it will not be tolerated or accepted to be 15 months and one day.”

The MTA board is so determined that the project be complete within the 15 month timeline that they’ll be fining Judlau if it goes longer; to the tune of $410,000 per day, NY Times says.

Meanwhile, no decisions have been reached yet on coming up with an alternate form of transportation for the hundreds of thousands of people who take the L every day. New Williamsburg venue Brooklyn Steel is not too worried.

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