MANHATTAN -- After two public meetings, MTA officials plan to meet next with local community boards and then make a final recommendation about a giant L train project.
The main work is set to begin in early 2019. Although the MTA says there will be some overnight and weekend closures to prepare for the project.
Riders, neighbors and drivers are encouraged to submit ideas at www.mta.info/CanarsieTunnelReconstruction.
Right now there are two options. The MTA is open to ideas and it's possible the final plan will be a blend of what's discussed. A plan is expected to be submitted to the MTA Board later this summer for a vote.
Officials say they're still working out details with the NYC Department of Transportation regarding a possible dedicated bus lanes on city streets and on the Williamsburg Bridge.
They released a video showing the damage to the Canarsie Tube that connects Manhattan and Brooklyn along the L line. Concrete duct banks that run the length of the tunnel were submerged in water. The salt water corrodes wires and electrical equipment. Some temporary repairs have been made.
MTA officials explained the work could not be done overnight or on the weekend. Officials say demolition of the duct bank creates dust and crews would not be able to bring back service to run trains during the weekday.
MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast says the tunnels "are safe right now, but it requires a high number of inspections and maintenance."
400,000 riders use the L train in Brooklyn and Manhattan every day. About 50,000 riders use the Manhattan section which would be completely closed under one of the plans.
Plan 1 is a closure of both tracks that lasts one and a half years. There would be no L train in Manhattan from 8th Avenue to Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. The rest of the line in Brooklyn would not be impacted. Bus service would be increased crosstown in Manhattan and in Brooklyn to the Marcy stop and to Delancy/Essex on the J train in Manhattan.
Train service will be increased on the G, M and J trains. That would include adding cars to the G train to make it longer. A free transfer would be added between the J and G trains at Broadway in Bushwick and at the Levonia stop.
Plan 2 would close one track and then the other one for a period of 3 years. A shuttle train would run from Manhattan to Brooklyn. But officials warn, there could be a 15 minute wait time because when one track is in use, only one train can travel through the tunnel at a time.
The project could cost between $800 million to $1 billion dollars. About half is coming from federal funds. Contractor incentives to get the work done on time, early, and MTA will pay premium for the work.
The MTA board will vote to finalize the plan over the summer.