Rumors regarding the L train’s impending shutdown have been confirmed: The Canarsie tube, which connects the L line from Brooklyn to Manhattan, will be completely shut down for 18 months of repairs beginning in January 2019, according to The New York Times.
The L train will not run between 8th Avenue in Manhattan and Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, meaning all five of Manhattan’s L train stations will be closed and there will be no L service between the two boroughs. Brooklyn service between the Lorimer Street and Canarsie stops will continue.
Alternative options, such as a shuttle from the Bedford to the Marcy stop across the Williamsburg bridge to Essex, a new ferry and bus service, and increased service on nearby lines, are under consideration.
The Canarsie tube, which was severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, requires an estimated $800 million in repairs, a portion of which is anticipated to be federally funded, the Times reported. The total-shutdown option was chosen over an alternative plan to partially close the tunnel, allowing for limited service as repairs are made over a longer, three-year period.
The MTA has been gauging public opinion on both options since its original announcement of the impending closure in January. A survey taken by the Riders Alliance found that 77 percent of affected New Yorkers preferred the total shutdown, the Times reported.
The closure is anticipated to have a dramatic effect on Brooklynites reliant on the L, as those living off the crowded line in Williamsburg and Bushwick have limited alternatives for getting into the city.
Although Gothamist previously reported the MTA has proposed everything from creating express bus lanes on bridges to having a fleet of shuttles ferrying riders to the M and J trains, predictions have been made that, in Williamsburg and Bushwick, residential rents will fall 15 percent, small retailers will suffer intensely, and rental developers could be hard hit as a direct result of the shutdown.
A formal announcement from the MTA of the shutdown is anticipated for later today, according to the Times.
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