Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced that he’d make a midnight inspection of the L train’s Canarsie Tunnel this week in advance of the spring shutdown to make sure there’s no way to speed things up and reduce the projected 15-month closure.
“This Thursday night, midnight, I’m going to take a tour to make sure we are doing everything we can and explore every option to reduce any possible disruption,” the Governor told Brian Lehrer on WNYC yesterday.
The Governor reiterated that he wasn’t second-guessing the MTA’s planning, which has been a long process in collaboration with the Department of Transportation, requiring a number of town halls and open houses.
Still, he promised to bring “national experts, international experts” with him on his midnight inspection tour of the tunnel, to make sure there are no other options for the MTA.
For its part, the MTA has planned for a 15-month construction closure and has been doing work along the line in advance of the shutdown. While service will remain between Rockaway Parkway and Bedford Avenue during the tunnel repair, the 225,000 riders that cross the river each day will be forced to find other modes of transportation.
The MTA expects some 80% of riders will be diverted to nearby lines, which will expand their service by nearly 1,000 trips per week, while other commuters will be able to use Citi Bikes, dedicated bus routes across the Williamsburg Bridge, or new ferry service to make the crossing.
“I just want to make sure that I personally can say to any New Yorker, ‘Yes, the buck stops on my desk, yes, this is a very big project and a disruptive project and yes, I personally am confident that it cannot be done any other way and it cannot be done faster than the MTA is doing it.”
Hopefully, he won’t be picking out any tile this time.