Published on : Tuesday, May 24, 2016
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced a third 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 will be held on Thursday, May 26 at 6:00 p.m. at Beraca Baptist Church at 9602 Flatlands Avenue in Brooklyn.
“The community outreach process that we kicked off earlier this month has given us a valuable opportunity to communicate directly to our customers about the need for this work and the pros and cons of the two approaches under consideration,” MTA New York City Transit President Veronique ‘Ronnie’ Hakim said. “Just as importantly, our outreach is giving us a better understanding of what matters most to the affected communities as we plan for this highly impactful project.”
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 6 pm and the program will begin at 7 pm.
Previously this month, community meetings on Canarsie Tunnel Reconstruction have been held at the Marcy Avenue Armory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and at the Salvation Army Theatre on 14th Street in Manhattan. MTA will continue an aggressive community engagement process – meeting with various organizations in Brooklyn and Manhattan communities along the L Subway line.
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.