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L Train to Shut Down for 18 Months

Jul 26 2016

Photo courtesy of flickr/susan sermoneta

Photo courtesy of flickr/susan sermoneta

As if your commute wasn't bad enough, it's only going to get worse.

The MTA yesterday reached a decision to shut down the L train for 18 months beginning in 2019. The other option, partial service on the L train line for 3 years, was voted against.

The closure will affect the L train from 8th Avenue in Manhattan to Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg. The Brooklyn side of the L train will continue to operate as normal.

The closure is necessary to make repairs to the Canarsie Tube L train tunnel that was damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Hurricane Sandy's toll on the L line included flooding of seven miles of the tube, damaging tracks, signals, signal cables, lighting, switches and more and stranding many in their homes in Brooklyn.

The tunnel connects millions of passengers between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Over 400,000 people ride the L train each day, with 225,000 of them traveling along the Carnasie Tube. This means that millions of passengers living in Brooklyn and commuting to Manhattan will have to find a different way to get to work. The MTA will run buses along the route to replace the subway, and passengers may opt to take the the ferry instead. Another option is to connect to alternate subway lines between Manhattan and North Brooklyn, like the G train or the JMZ line.

There is no way of sugar coating it. The shut down will cause some major headaches to travelers who rely on the L train. However, this closure is necessary to prevent future and further damage, and in my opinion, it is better to get it over with quickly. The end result will hopefully bring improved services to the L train and make Williamsburg and Bushwick an even more desirable neighborhood to live.

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