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L train tunnel repair may not start until 2018

The busy corner of Bedford and N.

The busy corner of Bedford and N. 7th street which is the first stop in Brooklyn for the L train, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. There is talk about the L train closing for repairs. Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

The MTA’s shutdown of the L train’s Canarsie tunnel — a three-year repair project expected to cause massive disruptions for Brooklyn commuters — may not begin until 2018, the transit agency’s officials are telling lawmakers.

Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) said the MTA assured him and other elected officials in a recent meeting that L train repair work is likely two or three years away.

“The earliest will probably be 2018 — maybe a littler sooner,’’ Lentol said. In the meantime, community meetings with MTA officials and riders will be organized starting in March to keep residents abreast to when repairs will begin and what alternative transit plans will be provided.

MTA officials declined to comment on Lentol’s remarks.

The MTA is considering fully closing one half of the L train’s Canarsie Tube at a time to make Sandy repairs. A full tunnel shutdown would take 18 months, while one tube at a time would take three years, according to a spokesman.

The tunnel was hit with 7 million gallons of salt water during Sandy. About 225,000 weekday riders go between Brooklyn and Manhattan on the L train. The line’s total daily ridership is 300,000, according to the MTA.


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