'No L-Pocalypse': Dreaded Subway Shutdown Averted

'No L-Pocalypse': Dreaded Subway Shutdown Averted

'No L-Pocalypse': Dreaded Subway Shutdown Averted

Andrew Cuomo says he's calling off a planned 15-month shutdown of a critical subway link between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The MTA says it plans to use the same contractors it was initially using to fix the tunnels and hope to keep the project within its $500 million budget.

In December, Governor Cuomo toured the L train tunnels with engineering experts from Columbia and Cornell Universities.

Under the new plan, work will take place only on nights and weekends, with trains running on limited service through one of the two tubes inside the tunnel, causing longer wait times.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), New York City's transit agency, announced the planned L train tunnel closure in 2016.

Brooklynites had already begun rearranging their lives for the expected "L-pocalypse", with some changing jobs or apartments to avoid the looming commuting snarls.

The L train, which connects far-flung parts of Brooklyn including the Rockaways and Canarsie to Manhattan via popular neighborhoods like Bushwick and Williamsburg, saw its two tunnels beneath the East River badly damaged in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy. The cables would then have been replaced and the wall rebuilt, in a labor-intensive process. "But you have to be willing to think outside the box or break the box".

Those who would have been hardest hit were overjoyed with the news. "This line is full, it's one of the most on-time lines of all the subways and I believe this is the right solution, not to shut it down". The MTA and other government agencies, like the Department of Transportation, had been working on a plan for the L line's 250,000 daily riders to use buses and other subway lines during the closure.

"It didn't feel very secure at all", she said.

If the L train fix plan proceeds as scheduled, one track at a time will be shut down on nights and weekends for up to 20 months.

Plainly, the governor woke up Friday feeling stung by the skeptics who were daring to question the viability of his surprise L-train plan. Williams, of Brooklyn, said he found the timing and motivation of Cuomo's announcement "suspect", coming as it did after years of public meetings and debate on the shutdown. The line is one of the city's busiest, running through neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Bushwick in Brooklyn and carrying almost a quarter of a million people through the tunnel each day. Of those, more than half go through the tunnel.

Acting MTA Chair Fernando Ferrer said in a statement that the organization "appreciate [s] the dedication and the analysis provided by this group of experts", and "the guidance and recommendations we have received today will ease the strain on customers and help us ensure we are providing a consistently reliable service".

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