It’s official: The L train shutdown will begin on April 27, 2019.
The MTA announced the start date for the Canarsie Tunnel reconstruction project alongside other details about the shutdown, including schedules for its replacement bus and ferry routes, and the fact that the agency is stepping up its outreach efforts—with open houses and “mobile information centers”—in order to keep New Yorkers informed.
The shutdown timeline as it currently stands is as follows:
- The MTA will have overnight and weekend closures on the L (between Eighth Avenue and Broadway Junction) for every weekend in February, the first three weekends in March, and the weekend of April 27 and 28.
- Five new bus routes, a new Select Bus Service route on 14th Street, and the MTA’s ferry service between Williamsburg and East 20th Street will begin on Sunday, April 21.
- The last day the L will run between Brooklyn and Manhattan will be Friday, April 26.
- Additional subway service on lines like the M, G, and 7 will go into effect on Sunday, April 28.
Phew. (One thing not mentioned by the MTA: expanded Citi Bike service. The bike share program will add scores of new bikes, including pedal-assist models, but a date for that roll-out has not yet been announced.)
The shutdown has been six years in the making: After Superstorm Sandy caused extensive damage to the Canarsie Tunnel, the MTA announced in 2016 that it would undertake the 15-month closure to facilitate repairs. Those include replacing track and cables, as well as improvements to existing stations (including the addition of elevators at First, Sixth, and Bedford avenues) and the construction of new power substations.
Some of those improvements have already opened for riders, including new, less cramped stairs at the Bedford Avenue station.
This gives New Yorkers six months to prepare for the impending shutdown, whether that means moving out of the neighborhoods that are most likely to be affected—including Williamsburg, Bushwick, and other L-adjacent Brooklyn areas—or finally getting comfortable commuting by bike so you don’t have to deal with an even messier commute.