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MTA slashes L train weekend service to accommodate Manhattan escalator repairs

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will cut off L-train service from Broadway Junction to Eighth Avenue in Manhattn on the weekend of Sept. 13-16.
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will ax L train service in most of Brooklyn and all of Manhattan this weekend from Sept. 13–16.

Transit honchos are suspending service between Broadway Junction in East New York and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan starting at 10:45 p.m. Friday to accommodate upgrades to an escalator at the Union Square station across the river, and service won’t resume until 5 a.m. Monday.

The improvements to the Manhattan station are part of accessibility improvements transit honchos promised during the original L-train shutdown plan, according to a senior official, who said the weekend shutdown is not a symptom of repairs to the inter-borough Canarsie Tunnel that was severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy.

“While the L Project was initiated because of the damage from Superstorm Sandy, it was designed to address many other critical needs — namely, accessibil­ity,” said New York City Transit’s Senior Adviser for System-Wide Accessibility Alex Elegudin. “Advancing this work now at these critical stations as we had promised will help to minimize disruptions later while also getting the accessibility and ease-of-access improvements done as quickly as possible, a huge win for our customers.”

The authority will roll out two free shuttle buses in Brooklyn during the closure, including one that will run from the Lorimer Street L train stop to the Marcy Avenue and Hewes Street J and M train stops, and another shuttle that will run from Lorimer Street to Broadway Junction, and also stop at Marcy Avenue, according to the agency.

The transit authority will enhance service along the G line, which will run every 8 minutes instead of every 10 minutes during the day, and they advise riders to also use the M train as an alternative.

For a station-by-station breakdown of alternative options, check out the agency’s service changes page.

In addition to the cross-borough closure, the L train will stop running in Brooklyn between Lorimer Street and Broadway Junction at weeknights from midnight Fridays to 5 a.m. Mondays from Sept. 23-27 and Sept. 30-Oct. 4 and throughout the following weekends of Sept. 27-29 and Oct. 4-6.

There will be two free shuttle buses with one running between Broadway Junction and Myrtle Avenue-Wyckoff Street, and another between Myrtle Avenue-Wyckoff Street and Lorimer Street, according to the agency.

The weekend closures will come back in the new year, with no service during all weekends in January 2020, the agency said.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Updated 8:56 am, September 10, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Larry Penner from Great Neck says:
Eight months have passed since Governor Cuomo's announcement that the game plan for Canarsie Line tunnel work had changed. Has the updated detailed project budget and construction schedule been made public? They must exist as the contractor has been issued an official notice to proceed and begun work. How can MTA perform adequate oversight of the contractor without both being in place? How much longer will it take for NYC Transit and private contractors to complete work with only overnight and weekend closures than the previously announced 15 month 24/7 project duration? Remember that work really began in February, so you have to add 3 months for any honest analysis of how long it will take to complete this work under the new strategy. Has Cuomo's new construction strategy added millions to the project costs and more months to the construction schedule? Unforseen site conditions or last minute additions to scope of work could result in unforseen change orders to the contract over coming months. They could add millions to the final project cost. It should also include completion for thousands of contract(s) punch list items, delivery and acceptance of all manufacture component maintenance plans, release of retainage and final payment to all third party construction contractors and vendors. Having only one tube open overnight weekdays and weekends provides operational problems. Bi-directional service on one track is risky. Twenty minute headway's between trains could result in periodic significant overcrowding. How many riders have switched to Lyft, Uber, taxi or other car services adding to traffic. Trains with mechanical difficulties in the tunnel could result in problems for the significant number of riders who use the L Line evenings, overnight and weekends. Several hundred million was previously provided under a Federal Transit Administration Super Storm Sandy Recovery and Resiliency grant in 2016 to pay for this project. Contractors Judlau and TC Electric $477 million awarded bid was based on the original scope of work and design including 24/7 site access to both tunnels with no active subway. Discussions concerning contract renegotiation took place behind closed doors since late January. The contractors had the basis to request millions in additional reimbursement. These added costs could be more than credits given the contractor for deletion of work as a result of the new design. Contractors can file delay claims for additional financial reimbursement due to limited site access and change orders for design and work scope changes to the original contract. What was the final resolution to cover any costs for materials previously ordered in preparation for initiation of work in April no longer needed? Did the MTA have to find additional funding to supplement previously approved federal funding? How could the MTA issue a notice to proceed to the contractor without an agreed upon detailed project budget and schedule? Did the MTA Office of Construction assigned to manage this project along with NYC Transit share this information with MTA board members, taxpayers, commuters and elected officials? Without access to the details, how can anyone believe the MTA promise that the project will now cost less and be completed in fewer than 18 months? Both Cuomo & MTA management promised honesty and transparency. Are those impacted and following progress for this project being kept in the dark on these critical details? The MTA is legally required as part the master grant agreement with FTA to provide monthly financial and milestone progress reports. This includes any changes to scope of work and contract change orders over $100,000. This is accomplished under the FTA Transit Award Management System known as TRAMS. MTA and NYCDOT provide these reports on many other active capital projects and programs worth over $12 billion. Any approved grant contains a detailed scope of work, project description, budget, milestones and environmental findings. The MTA is required to submit to FTA monthly progress reports for all projects in any active open Sandy grants. Formula funded grants have similar quarterly requirements. MTA currently has over $10 billion worth o projects in within these grants. Both the MTA and FTA have independent engineering consulting firms to assist in-house staff in oversight.. They issue monthly reports on the status of major capital improvement projects over $100 million. It will be interesting to read a future "Cuomo" style “forensic audit” of the Canarsie Tunnel project since first conceived after Super Storm Sandy in 2012. Similar audits will be performed by MTA Office of Inspector General, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, NYC Office of Management and Budget, Federal Transit Administration Independent Engineer (assigned to assist FTA Region 2 NY Office in conducting project oversight) and FTA Office of Inspector General. They will make interesting reading! As they say in Brooklyn, development and progression of this project is beginning to sound fugazy Governor Cuomo continues attempting to portray himself as the second coming of the late President Franklin Roosevelt and master builder Robert Moses. Cuomo is not an engineer, transportation expert or daily commuter. He does excel at photo-ops when walking the tracks many times without wearing a safety vest or hardhat as required by Federal Railroad Administration, If he is bored being Governor and believes he can do a better job managing NYC Transit or MTA, there is an easy solution. His last act as Governor before resigning could be appointing himself NYC Transit President or MTA Chairman. (Larry Penner is a transportation historian, advocate and writer who previously worked 31 years for the US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for grants supporting billions in capital projects and programs on behalf of the MTA, NYC Transit, LIRR & Metro North, MTA Bus, New Jersey Transit, NYC Department of Transportation and 30 other transit operators in NY & NJ).
Sept. 10, 7:11 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
"Take Mass Transit" "You don't need a car in NYC!" Get on the bus comrade.
Sept. 10, 10:36 am
The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
I certainly agree with you Larry 100 percent. And besides, it's#CuomosMTA to #FixtheSubway. Such hypocrisy by the car Loving, motorcycle chopping, Queens Cthulhu we have been stupidly voted for in the past two elections as Governor. Meanwhile, the MTA had no choice but to severely mismanaged under Governor Crony's watch. Then again, I still have faith with Andy Byford since he became NYCT President in day one.
Sept. 10, 1:12 pm
WEM IIII from Olde Mille Basin says:
This is not the way to run a transit line. Cutting service hurts everyone. Cuomo and DeBlasio are just like 2 peas in a pot.
Sept. 11, 10:39 am

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