NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a new option that will change plans to shut down the L train subway tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority accepted Cuomo’s recommendations from a panel of engineering experts which found a new design made the L train tunnel shutdown unnecessary.
Before today’s announcement, repairs on the tunnel were expected to take 15 months and only keep L train service operational between Bedford Avenue and Canarsie Parkway stations in Brooklyn during that time, with no service between the boroughs.
The new repair plan would only require closures of one tube at night and on weekends, allowing transit to continue.
“To make a long story short, they have proposed a new design to use in the tunnel,” said Cuomo. “It is a design that has not been used in the United States before to the best of our knowledge.”
The governor noted the new plan follows methods that have been used in Europe, but not for tunnel restoration.
“The MTA has gone through the new designs and believes it is feasible,” he said.
Repairs on the Canarsie Tunnel have been needed for years due to damage from Superstorm Sandy. The tunnel flooded during the storm, requiring extensive short-term repairs just to bring service back. Long-term repairs are now need to make sure the tunnel can continue to operate “without major failures.”
According to the current plan from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York City Department of Transportation, on April 21 the MTA plans to start service on five additional bus routes and offer new select bus service on 14th Street. Ferry service between the boroughs will also be added to help commuters. As part of its plan, the MTA says additional service will also be added on seven subway lines.