The completion of the L Train tunnel renovation was one major win during COVID-19.
But when one subway renovation project ends, another begins. The MTA recently announced they would be reconstructing the Rutgers Tube, which carries the F train under the East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan, due to damage from Superstorm Sandy. Since the project is so similar to the L train, which also needed to be repaired after storm damage, they will be using “lessons learned” from that project here as well.
This includes not completely closing down full train service during construction, instead getting the work done overnight and on weekends. Of course, this does mean F train service will not be functioning nights and weekends. The line averages about 35,000 riders per day.
According to the MTA, on certain nights and weekends between August of this year and March of next, F trains will be rerouted over the C Line between Jay St-MetroTech and W 4th St., and via the E line from W 4th St. to 36 St. in Queens. E trains will then be rerouted over the F line between 36 St. in Queens and a temporary terminal at Delancey St. in Manhattan. The East Broadway and York St. stations will be closed select weekday evenings after 10 pm, as well as select weekends, when work is underway.
The Rutgers Tube is the 11th and final MTA tunnel under a major body of water that needed to be rebuilt after damage from Sandy, and at a predicted 14 months, it will also be the fastest tunnel renovation.
Reconstruction includes: replacement of track, signal equipment, power and communication cables, fan plant equipment, tunnel lighting and pumps; and “hardening the pumping system as a resiliency enhancement by relocating the pump controls outside of the flood zone and providing a backup generator connection” (1.5 million gallons of water hit the tube during the storm).
“Once complete, we will have rehabilitated every tunnel damaged during Sandy, further fortifying the system against future natural disasters,” said Sarah Feinberg, Interim President of MTA New York City Transit. “We’re working to make sure this work leads to as few disruptions as possible for our customers and look forward to getting this vital project underway in the weeks ahead.”
This plan is contingent upon approval from the MTA board meeting on Wednesday, July 22.
featured image source: Photo by Peter Osmenda on Unsplash