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MTA to propose plan to shorten L train shutdown by 3 months

NEW YORK — The L train shutdown might be shorter than expected.

The MTA is proposing a plan that would accelerate the L train reconstruction project by three months. If approved, the contractors set to work on the L train repairs will receive an additional $15 million incentive to complete the project in 15 months.

The L train repair was initially slated to be completed in 18 months.

The $477 million contract will be given to Judlau Contracting Inc. and TC Electric.

The MTA board will vote to approve the proposal next week.

Officials announced the shutdown between Brooklyn and Manhattan in 2016, leaving many straphangers worried about their commute. The MTA assured the project would not begin until April 2019.

The project would repair the train tunnels that include putting in new concrete lining, lights, duct banks, tracks and track beds. The First and Bedford avenue stations will also get new stairways and elevators to help with customer flow.

Officials said the shutdown is necessary to make the repairs that were caused by Superstorm Sandy.

The MTA opted for a full 18-month closure rather than the three-year partial closure that was previously considered after officials determined 80 percent of riders would face the same disruptions with either plan, agency officials said in the release.

A shuttle train would have only been able to serve 20 percent of riders and it would have added more risk to the schedule.

The agency is still working with the city on plans for buses. Service on the G, J and M trains will be increased, they said.