Work that began in August to complete Superstorm Sandy-related repairs within the Rutgers Tubes of the F line between Brooklyn and Manhattan will enter its final phase coming in January with an April completion date.
The MTA said Tuesday this will not only be the last of the agency’s tunnel rehabilitation, but also the fastest as riders will now be able to have fewer service interruptions on weekends and overnight, excluding the 1 to 5 a.m. subway closures.
Hauling New Yorkers between the East Broadway station in Manhattan and the York Street station in Brooklyn, the MTA employed techniques adopted to redeem the Canarsie Tunnel on the L line with fiber-reinforced polymers devised by Cornell University.
According to Janno Lieber, president of MTA Construction and Development, the federal funds provided for these repairs is a signal to the lawmakers in Washington that yet again, they can step in and improve the lives of commuters in New York City with COVID-19 financial support.
“We are making strong progress on the Rutgers tunnel using strategies similar to those we pioneered on the L Project: use state-of-the art technology and work smarter and faster so that the project costs less and impacts fewer customers,” Lieber said. “We also see from our experience with Superstorm Sandy recovery, where funds from Washington were a big part of the response to that national emergency, the positive impact when the federal government steps up during a crisis to assist mass transit agencies.”
With the MTA looking down the barrel of a $16 billion deficit in 2024 and $2.9 billion in potential loans to pay back to the federal government, the agency has been requesting $12 billion to fund their operations until better days.
Better days, being a time when New Yorkers begin returning to the subways at pre-pandemic levels and the MTA again has cashflow from fares. But since April, the U.S. Senate, under the leadership of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has given public transit the cold shoulder.
The tunnel rehabilitations will come with other benefits for riders, however.
There will now be cellular service throughout the tunnel and improved accessibility improvements compliant with the Americans with Disability Act at the East Broadway station.
According to the MTA, the service plan going into January will be as follows:
- F trains will be rerouted over the E line between 36 Street in Queens and West 4th Street, and via the C line between West 4th Street and Jay Street-MetroTech.
- E trains will be rerouted over the F line between 36 Street in Queens and a temporary terminal at Delancey Street in Manhattan. This change will accommodate the changes to F service above to provide the same level of service on Sixth Avenue.
- East Broadway and York Street F stations will be closed during these periods. The World Trade Center E station will also be closed.
- Free shuttle buses will be available to take customers between Delancey Street and East Broadway stations.
- Customers at York Street will be directed to take the existing B67 or a shuttle bus to Jay Street-MetroTech.
- Customers at World Trade Center can take A, C, and F trains at Chambers Street or 2 and 3 trains at Park Place.
- ADA customers should transfer to 1, 2 or 3 trains at 42nd Street-Port Authority or 2 and 3 trains at Fulton Street for the accessible Chambers Street 1,2,3 station.
- Service changes may vary on select dates due to other work in the system. Please check the project microsite at https://new.mta.info/projects/rutgers for the latest info.
On weekends the tunnels will remain closed at 10 p.m. on Fridays until 5 a.m. on Mondays between Jan. 1 and March 29.
This means that between Dec. 7 and Jan. 1, overnight and weekend service changes will be on hold.
The weeknight schedule for closures between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. will be as follows:
January 4-7, 2021
January 11-14, 2021
January 18-21, 2021
January 25-28, 2021
February 1-4, 2021
February 8-11, 2021
February 15-18, 2021
February 22-25, 2021
March 8-11, 2021
March 15-18, 2021
March 22-25, 2021