Some additional context. The delayed closure of the L train is good news! 15 month closure instead of 19. https://t.co/fQEf1mocw1— Second Ave. Sagas (@2AvSagas) March 17, 2017
In a tweet yesterday, Second Avenue Sagas noted that the L train shutdown between Bedford Avenue and Eighth Avenue will now last 15 months instead of 18 months (if you're an optimist) ... with a start date of April 2019 instead of January 2019. (H/T Gothamist!)
This news was confirmed by the MTA's lead spokesperson...
Canarsie Tunnel closure now only 15 months instead of 1.5 years. Starts April 2019; better for L train riders all around— Beth DeFalco (@BethDeFalco) March 17, 2017
The MTA issued a news release yesterday on this development...
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will seek board approval next week to award an expedited contract to accelerate the rehabilitation of the L Subway train’s Canarsie Tunnel under the East River by three months, improve two stations, and build a substation that will allow more trains to run on the L Subway Line, increasing capacity. The contract award calls for the tunnel work to be completed in 15 months, three months shorter than the previously discussed 18 months.
The $477 million contract, to be awarded to a joint venture consisting of Judlau Contracting Inc. and TC Electric, also adds $15 million in incentives to complete the tunnel project in 15 months. Contractual provisions were included to expedite demolition, encourage acceleration of the tunnel work, deter delays, enable traffic mitigation work, and the testing and commissioning of systems.
Consistent with NYC Transit’s objectives to expedite critical capital projects and improve customer service, NYC Transit will also implement procedures to ensure that the project advances in a fast-tracked fashion similar to the expedited nature of Design Build projects.
“The heavy damage sustained by the Canarsie Tunnel during Superstorm Sandy requires a full reconstruction in order to ensure the integrity of the tunnel and the safety of riders for generations to come,” said MTA Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim. “At the same time, we promised to do everything possible to mitigate the impact of this vital work on l line riders, and today, we’ve done just that, by shortening the tunnel closure from 18 months to 15 months.”
The release also notes that, prior to the tunnel closure, the First Avenue stop will receive an upgrade that will include new stairways, and four ADA-compliant elevators "and other work to improve customer flow."
In addition, the release mentions something I don't recall hearing about: the "construction of a new Avenue B substation ... to address power requirements that, combined with the existing CBTC signal system, will allow more trains to run on the line to accommodate growing ridership."