The L Train Shutdown

Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 megastorm that did billions of dollars of damage to New York City, was a particular problem for the subways: thousands of miles of track in the cross-river tunnels were flooded with corrosive sea water. The Canarsie Tube, which carries the L train between Brooklyn and Manhattan's 14th St, was no exception.

In April 2019, the MTA will shut down L service between Manhattan's 8th Ave and Williamsburg's Bedford Ave for 15 months so it can fully repair and refurbish the tunnel; service will run only between Bedford and the Canarsie–Rockaway Pkwy terminus. The 1st Ave (Manhattan) and Bedford Ave stations will also be expanded and improved, with drastically needed new staircases and elevators.

Needless to say, the 275,000 daily riders who depend on taking the L train into the city – not to mention the owners of bars, restaurants and shops in Williamsburg – aren't thrilled, but in late 2017 the MTA released a multi-pronged plan to help. In Manhattan, 14th St between 3rd and 9th Aves will become a ‘Busway’ for buses, with increased service, while 13th St will get a new, protected two-way bike lane. In Brooklyn, more train service will be added to the J/Z, M and G lines (with the M running all the way up to 96th St and 2nd Ave overnight and on weekends), and several new bus lines will run over the Williamsburg Bridge, from the Bedford Ave and Grand St stations to 15th St and 1st Ave and various stops in SoHo. A new ferry service will also run from N 6th St in Williamsburg to E 20th St in Manhattan, where passengers can transfer directly to the M14-SBS bus.

These mitigation plans will be seeing further development as the construction date draws near, so for the most up-to-date information, consult the MTA’s website at www.mta.info/sandy.