NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s official.
The L train shutdown has been called off.
“The total shutdown of both tunnels and all service scheduled for April 27 will not be necessary,” the MTA said in a statement Thursday.
The Canarsie Tunnel’s two tubes, connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan, were slated to shut down this spring for 15 months of repairs to fix damage done by Superstorm Sandy.
But earlier this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, joined by engineers from Columbia and Cornell universities, presented a new plan that could be done without a complete closure.
“We needed an idea outside the box,” the governor said.
Web Extra: Read Gov. Cuomo’s L Train Proposal
The MTA contractor that came up with the original plan, WSP, recommended the agency move forward with Cuomo’s proposal, which calls for mounting cables on racks attached to the tunnel walls, instead of the move invasive plan to burying them in the benchwall.
“Just like the fiber reinforced polymer that is used in the Second Avenue Subway, the 7 train extension, the Culver Viaduct, the Bay Bridge, and many other structures across New York and the United States, the materials used in this project would meet rigorous standards developed for the safety and well being of riders, workers, and the general public,” WSP Senior Vice President Jerry Jannetti said in a statement. “As the designer who has studied both options, the new approach will meet all the goals of the original plan, with one major difference: riders won’t spend 15 months without L train service.”
The governor said the new techniques have never been used before in the United States but have seen some success in Europe.
“It allows a visual inspection, it allows access for repairs,” said Jannetti during a hearing on Tuesday. “As we look around the globe and see that this is used in many different places, there are tremendous benefits as well.”
The new repair plan will still require the closure of one of the tubes on nights and weekends, but trains will run in both directions 24/7.
The MTA is now working on a revised timeline. For more information, click here.