MTA finishes restoring final tunnel that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy

Transit

BROOKLYN — One more thing is back to normal along the rails of the New York City Transit System. 

MTA officials announced Wednesday that work has been completed on the Rutgers Tunnel. That carries riders of the F train between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. 

The project started in Sept. 2020 and required 17 weeks of on-again off-again closures and detours impacting multiple lines. 

It’s one of 11 tunnels damaged during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. This was the final one to be repaired and fortified.

President of MTA Construction & Development Janno Lieber says crews leveraged the innovations of the L train tunnel project. 

“Use of state-of-the art technology and working smarter and faster so that the project costs less and impacts customers for a shorter time,” Lieber said. 

While some major improvement and station items were paused during the pandemic, others were able to finish ahead of schedule. Transit officials say the design-build approach with contractors involved in planning is a model for the future.

Lower ridership allows for complete closures of some areas to get work done more quickly. 

Interim MTA NYC Transit President Sarah Feinberg tells riders complete closures allow the work to be completed. 

“Renewed infrastructure means more reliability. Our customers now have a system that is more resilient than ever,” Feinberg said. 

There are plans for four weekends of work on the F-track tunnel for the spring and summer. Around the system, some other work is also beginning because federal funding packages have been approved. 

At a briefing this week with the Citizens Budget Commission, Feinberg said the city is rapidly approaching the return of 24-hour subway service. In May 2020, Governor Cuomo and transit officials closed the system for four hours in order to implement a cleaning and disinfection schedule. It’s now closed from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. 

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