Tunnel Vision

The L Train Is Shutting Down to Prepare for the L Train Shutdown

It's a mini-shutdown for two weekends in May to lay groundwork for the Big One.
May 3, 2017, 3:16pm
The Canarsie tunnel in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy. Photo courtesy the MTA

In early 2019 the L train in New York City will shut down for 15 months to repair damage caused during Hurricane Sandy. Leading up to the closure, VICE will be providing relevant updates and proposals, as well as profiles of community members and businesses along the affected route in a series we're calling Tunnel Vision. Read more about the project here .

Offering New Yorkers a glimpse into the fiery transit hellscape that 2019 could very well be, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) announced last week that L train service will be suspended two weekends in May: from 12:01 AM on Saturday, May 6, to 5 AM on Monday, May 8, and on Memorial Day weekend, from 12:01 AM on Saturday, May 27, to 5 AM Tuesday, May 30. The train will not run in both directions between Manhattan's 8th Avenue and Brooklyn's Broadway Junction, but it will still operate at the eastern end of the line, from Broadway Junction to Canarsie. Alternatives include a free shuttle bus from downed stations and restored M train service.

The MTA says the suspension has to happen "in order to ensure the tunnel can remain open until the planned April 2019 closure of the tunnel for full rehabilitation from the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy." So, yes, it's a mini-shutdown to lay groundwork for the Big One, and since you're probably asking "what the fuck?" out loud, the MTA argued that closing on a horribly inconvenient three-day holiday weekend prevents an additional weekend shutdown. While the train's out of commission this month, the transit authority said it will survey the line and perform maintenance, promising (almost ironically) a "smoother" ride once it's done.

You can read the entire MTA press release here.

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