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If L Train Shutdown Happens, Manhattan Service May Halt Entirely

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Complete tunnel closure may mean no service along the five Manhattan stops

Joel Raskin/Curbed Flickr Pool

A full closure of the East River tunnel that connects Brooklyn to Manhattan along the L Train line could mean a complete shutdown of L Train service in Manhattan, the Wall Street Journal reports.

One of the plans under consideration for Hurricane Sandy-related repairs on the line is to shut down the tunnel completely, which means the L Train will terminate at Bedford Avenue on the Brooklyn side. Under this plan repairs will take about 18 months.

But this could also force the MTA to halt service along the five stops in Manhattan. With no way for a train on the Manhattan side to get to a yard for potential repair work, any sort of problems on a Manhattan L Train could block up the whole route.

If this does go through, the agency will likely provide buses along the route with dedicated lanes.

Another plan under consideration is closing one of two tracks along the tunnel, and continuing service on the other. This could however lead to 20 minute waits for an L Train, which already has an estimated weekday ridership of 400,000. This plan would also mean the repairs would go on much longer.

Regardless repairs will likely allow the MTA to modernize existing subway stations, according to the WSJ.

There has been an increased pushback from commuters and business owners in North Brooklyn in light of the imminent shutdown. As a result the MTA is considering all avenues, but repair work on the tunnel is getting increasingly necessary.

Early last month, a Williamsburg developed offered to provide free shuttle service to nearby the JMZ line to his tenants if the shutdown went through. The closure however won't go into effect until late 2018 or early 2019.

Just this morning, a fire on the tracks at Third Avenue along the L Train led to delays on Manhattan-bound trains right in the middle of rush hour.