June 6, 2013 / Brooklyn news / Transit Issues / Brooklyn Is Angry

GRRR! Train tunnels to be closed for repairs

The Brooklyn Paper
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Here’s two more reason to live and work in Brooklyn.

The MTA will close two of the tunnels that connect the outside world to Brooklyn, and now residents that work in lower Manhattan and Queens who are used to a once-seat ride to are going to have to start doing the subway shuffle.

The Montague Street tunnel under East River, which connects the R train to Manhattan, and the Greenpoint tube under Newtown Creek, which connects the G train to Queens, will both be closed for repairs thanks to damages wreaked by Hurricane Sandy, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The R train connector is in such bad shape it will not be used for 14 months starting in August. During that time, commuter trains will terminate at Court Street, where riders heading to downtown Manhattan can switch for free to the 4 or 5 train. On weekends, the R train will run over the Manhattan Bridge into Manhattan, following the N line’s path into Manhattan.

The G train connector will be closed for 12 weekends this year between July 6 and Dec. 15, and will be replaced with a shuttle bus that will get residents across the creek that separates Brooklyn from Queens. The MTA says that tunnel will be closed for five weeks in a row during the summer of 2014.

The MTA claims the closures are needed because of the havoc that Hurricane Sandy wreaked on the tunnels last year.

“Closing these two subway tubes is a difficult but necessary step to restore them to the condition they were in before Sandy struck,” said Fernando Ferrer, the acting chairman of the MTA.

Both of the connectors were shut down for extensive periods after Hurricane Sandy — the G for 10 days and the R tunnel for nearly two months.

But repairs done at that point weren’t enough to get the trains running reliably, according to MTA offcials.

“Even after we restored service through the tubes again, signal and other component failures rose dramatical­ly,” said Thomas Prendergast.

Problems in the Greenpoint tube include corroded cables and destroyed controls that make it impossible to adjust ventilation, lighting and communication systems, while the R tunnel suffer damages to duct banks that must be completely replaced so that the new cables can be run to replace those corroded by salt water.

Some riders of the G —commonly referred to as the Brooklyn Local even though it does venture to Queens — say they understands that the MTA has to get the work done, but hope the agency has a solid plan in place to make sure commuters can get to where they need to go.

“After Sandy, we had thousands of people walking over the bridge into Long Island City. There were shuttle buses, but you had no idea when they were going to show up and when they did show up, they were packed,” said Connor Mealey, who lives off of the Nassau stop in Greenpoint and uses the G train to commute to his job in Long Island City. “I hope the MTA took some lessons from that.”

The R is Bay Ridge’s lifeline to the rest of the city, and state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) has fired off a letter to the MTA and Mayor Bloomberg demanding increased service and lower fares on the neighborhood’s express buses into Manhattan, along with restored ferry service over the East River at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and a shuttle in Downtown to take people over the bridges.

During the R tunnel closure, service in Manhattan will terminate at Whitehall Street.

The Greenpoint, 21st Street and Court Square stations of the G is scheduled to shut down on 12 weekends between July 6 and Dec. 15.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:11 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Maybe Brooklyn can get a discount on the Battery Tunnel toll during this time.
June 6, 2013, 6:53 am
M.L Mosby from Williamsburg says:
This is one of the reasons why the G-train at Broadway & the M-train at Lorimer should be a free above ground transfer. The M-train stops at Court Square/23rd Street Ely in Long Island City & at least Brooklynites without a monthly metrocard who rely on the G-train to Queens have a route to go without coughing up the extra fare.
June 6, 2013, 7:41 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Nice headline about G and RRR frustations.
June 6, 2013, 9:31 am
KB from Greenpoint says:
"Some riders of the G —commonly referred to as the Brooklyn Local even though it does venture to Queens"

It's called the "Crosstown Local", or "Brooklyn-Queens Crosstown Local"... No one but this paper calls it the "Brooklyn Local" :-) I've posted this several times. Do some research guys!
June 6, 2013, 12:30 pm
trans alt from my bike says:
lol at rufus. The tolls are going up again next year, just in time for congestion pricing. BBT will be $10 pretty soon, VZB $20. I'll be laughing my ass off when it happens.
June 6, 2013, 1:29 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
It's gonna be torture.
June 6, 2013, 1:38 pm
JAY from NYC says:
This is completely unacceptable on so many different levels.
1) MTA fails to have plan to protect infrastructure from storms which are a known and predictable hazard that the city occasionally faces, and faced and dodged a bullet only a year before with Irene and the year before that with earl, and what did they do? JACK FRAEAKKIN SQUAT!!!!.
2) That sandy hit was not a surprise to anyone who deals with these issues, and who at the MTA has been held accountable? NO ONE and the guy who ran it now wants to be MAYOR!! LIPA was bad and now the Governor wants to take them over, why do we not get similar action with the crud box that is the MTA?
3) The city basically demands people use the train instead of cars and passes all kinds of laws to "encourage" people to take the train and yet then fails to adequately safeguard the city's economic lifeblood, and then expects everyone else to bear the cost of the MTA's failure to do their job. Is this Russia??!!! What, is Putin running things now?
4) What will be the economic loss due to this latest MTA fustercluck? BOHICA!!!
5) Does anyone really think the R train will be fixed in 14 months? It takes these criminals 2 years to put in a single elevator on a subway platform and a coat of paint costs over 40 million. 14 months my a**
6) Where is the proof that the tunnels were actually damaged? Has anyone who is independent of the Multiple Theft Agency actually seen the damage? Where is the evidence that this is not just another rip off where the MTA is soaking the public for dollars?
June 6, 2013, 6:29 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
Jay, good points. I do believe the tunnels are damaged though. Perhaps the media will keep drilling Lhota on this as he runs for Mayor. To hear him tell it everything was wonderful after Sandy. just down for a couple of days
June 6, 2013, 6:33 pm
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
These are repairs that should have been being done already. Instead in typical NYC fashion, the city sits on its hands and does a half a$$ed job, and now the tax paying citizens suffer as usual. The MTA should be disbanded. Completely incompetent organization.
June 6, 2013, 11:10 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First of all, the MTA is state owned, not city owned, so I do have a say in what goes on with them since it's my taxes being used for this as well. More importantly, it won't be easy nor cheap to help restore everything after Hurricane Sandy. Also, most of the aid from such a disaster like this has to come from the federal government, so help there should be going to congress and probably the president as well, since that is where FEMA is. For the record, John Samuelson and the rest of TWU Local have been working to get everything restored for the past number of months as he said in a recent letter in the Daily News. If anyone thinks that they can do better, then take their jobs rather than complain about how little they are doing it by shouting at your computer screens. Seriously, the real blame for failures should be the MTA executives rather than just placing it on the TWU, who is usually seen as an easy scapegoat for their problems and always being labeled as being greedy despite working a while without a contract.
June 7, 2013, 2:51 pm
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
Yes douche. I'm well aware that the MTA is a state agency. However, the subways fall under the subdivision if New York City Transit. All projects involving subways are city run projects. And I wasn't criticizing the low level transit workers such as the ones in TWU. I was talking about the upper level management, the people who call the shots.
June 7, 2013, 7:23 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- You should justify your right to "have a say" by saying something that isn't stupid.... instead of whining about how you pay taxes.
June 7, 2013, 9:34 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Trans Alt will be crying "Why do my organic grapes cost so much?"

Oh, the tolls to subsididize his trans.
June 7, 2013, 9:48 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Johnny, everything that is involved in the MTA is state owned, and NYCT is just part of them. As a matter of fact, the NYCTA is their police department. Overall, when the MTA did have hearings on the latest fare hikes that did involve the subways and the city buses, they did all over downstate NY, not just in the city itself. Nevertheless, recovery after a major storm like Sandy won't be something that can just come right away especially in much of lower Manhattan with subways flooded, and look at how long it took to make New Orleans habitable again after Katrina hit them. As for Mr White, assuming that trans alt is him, toll hikes are actually a lot more common than fare hikes, and they don't go up in quarters when raised, not to mention covers much more of the transit that most of the fares do, which where the MTA makes the real profits.
June 8, 2013, 4:44 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Do you honestly think that last comment was clear and coherent? (ya know, in contrast to just a bunch of unstructured babbling with a few vague themes)
June 8, 2013, 5:30 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, if you have nothing nice to say, then don't say anything at all, which is probably what your parents used to tell you.
June 9, 2013, 2:06 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- If you don't have anything non-ignorant to say, then don't say anything at all... which, unfortunately, is not something your mom tells you.
June 9, 2013, 3:15 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, the point is that the issues involving the MTA are just as much as an issue to me as they are to you, and that's mainly because I do pay taxes to them and that they are of the state, not the city. Seeing your personal attacks, it shows that you have nothing to back your claims and resort to this. In real life, people will see you as nothing more than what Michael Moore refers to as a wacko attacko, which is why you just stay by your computer screen most of the time all because you feel you can just pretend to be somebody you are not. In my days, if someone had something to say, they would say in their face rather than hide somewhere and say it hence being coward, which is what you are.
June 9, 2013, 8:14 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Is that really "the point"? We all know that the MTA is a state agency. No one has said otherwise. If that's your "point." Super. Now go help your mom get ready for bed.
June 9, 2013, 9:45 pm
PEDRO big pole Hernandez says:
All of you shut up and quit whining! Whaaa! Whaaa! Use your fat legs and walk.
June 9, 2013, 11:20 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, I take it you are deaf on hearing the true nature of the MTA. What part of they had recent hearings on fare and toll hikes all over downstate NY did you not hear about? BTW, recovering after a major disaster isn't so easy, and those transit workers are doing everything they can, but at the same time, they are working without a contract. Also, I cannot believe how you riders always want the best system in the world, but you want someone else to foot most of the bill, which happens to be us motorists, who cover the majority of the costs already through the tolls, which at least double the fares.
June 10, 2013, 6:09 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, just cut out the personal attacks, otherwise you will face the wraith of my legal counsel. I have'nt attacked you personally, so why do you and the other zealouts from streetsblog continually hit me below the belt? Back to the issue. During Passover, I parked my car outside Beverley Raod and East t6th street to run in to get some Matzoh balls for my mother. The sign clearly said "Parking for delivery vehicles only". Since I was delivering Matzoh balls to my mother, I felt like I was in the right and the parking zealout in the wrong, as he issued me a 120 dollar ticket [even though I was only gone for 30 minutes] and put a denver-boot on my car. I told the parking zealout so, and suggestted that if he did not immediatelly release my car and pay me $1000 for emotionel distress, that I would call my lawyer Myron Zoggblotskberg and sue him, the city, and the kosher market for 10 million dollars. The guy just laughed in my face, and told me to "haul my fat ass" down to the subway station; which would be impossible now since the tunnels are closed for repairs. I found his approch to be highly disrespectful., and it reminded me of the attitude of Mahmoud abbas towards the state of israel. On a side note, I saw at least 12 bikes parked along the sidewalk, and none of them had recieved a ticket for illegal parking. Clearly those streetsbloggers have infultrated the municpal parking staff
June 18, 2013, 2:07 pm

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