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Published on : Saturday, June 25, 2016
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced a fourth community meeting to discuss future reconstruction work on the Canarsie Tunnel, which carries the L Subway train under the East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
The meeting, which will be held on Thursday, July 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Achievement First Bushwick Middle School at 1300 Greene Avenue in Brooklyn, will also focus heavily on repairs to the M Subway Line in Bushwick that are scheduled to be made prior to work on the tunnel. (Note: Achievement First is co-located with I.S. 383.)
“As promised earlier this year, we are continuing to engage with all the communities affected by the reconstruction of the Canarsie Tunnel,” MTA New York City Transit President Veronique ‘Ronnie’ Hakim said. “The Bushwick Community will be affected by this project in a unique way due to its reliance on both the L Subway and M Subway lines, so we are eager to hear directly from our customers there and to answer their questions about the project and its impacts.”
Any 24/7 closure of the Canarsie Tunnel’s two tubes is unlikely to begin before January of 2019, leaving time for the selection of a construction plan and the development of service alternatives. At the same time, procurement of design and construction services for the project must begin to move forward this year to ensure that hundreds of millions of federal dollars are not lost. MTA New York City Transit is weighing the operational and engineering impacts of two proposals for rebuilding the Canarsie Tunnel’s two tubes and plans to select one option by July.
The public meeting will include an in-depth discussion of the potential construction approaches currently under consideration. They will also include an open house at which community members can discuss their concerns with MTA staff; a presentation from MTA NYC Transit leadership and technical staff; and a question and answer period in which the panel will respond to questions submitted from the audience. Doors will open at 5:30 pm and the program will begin at 6:30 pm.
Last month, community meetings on Canarsie Tunnel Reconstruction were held at the Marcy Avenue Armory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; the Salvation Army Theatre on 14th Street in Manhattan and the Beraca Baptist Church in Canarsie, Brooklyn. MTA has engaged in an aggressive community engagement process in the lead-up to a construction decision and will continue to meet with various organizations in Brooklyn and Manhattan communities along the line to discuss service impacts and mitigations.
The Canarsie Tunnel suffered extensive damage to tracks, signals, switches, power cables, signal cables, communication cables, lighting, cable ducts and bench walls throughout a 7,100-foot-long flooded section of both tubes. Bench walls throughout those sections must be rehabilitated to protect the structural integrity of the tubes.
During this rehabilitation process, the MTA will also make significant improvements to stations and tunnel segments closest to the under-river section. New stairs and elevators will be installed at the Bedford Av station in Brooklyn and the 1 Av station in Manhattan, and three new electric substations will be installed, providing more power to operate additional trains during rush hours.
MTA New York City Transit has taken several steps to ensure the Canarsie Tunnel remain reliable until permanent repairs can be performed. The agency is inspecting the tunnel’s walls more frequently, and has installed redundant power cables to ensure the pumping system will operate without interruption.
The Canarsie Tunnel was one of nine underwater tunnels that flooded during Superstorm Sandy, all of which required extensive rehabilitation and repair. Some of that work has been accomplished during night and weekend closures, while the R Subway line’s Montague Tunnel under the East River was closed for more than a year and the G Subway line tunnel under Newtown Creek was closed for two months, both for complete renovations.
Prior to any closure of the Canarsie Tunnel, MTA New York City Transit is preparing to rebuild two crucial sections of the M Subway line in Brooklyn and Queens in order to ensure that two decades-old deteriorating overpasses remain safe for travel.
The vital construction will occur at two sections: a metal bridge between the Fresh Pond Rd and Middle Village-Metropolitan Av stations will require a two-month shutdown. The second section of construction will occur at the century-old concrete viaduct that carries the M Subway line between the Myrtle Av and Central Av stations. That section will be shut down for 10 months beginning in summer 2017.