Gov. Andrew Cuomo, joined by engineers from Cornell University and Columbia University, spent the wee hours of Friday morning touring the Canarsie Tunnel, where the L train shutdown is due to begin in just over four months.
Why Cuomo chose now to pay attention to the shutdown—which has been in the works for more than three years—is unclear, but the governor made clear his intentions with the tour: “I want to make sure as Governor of the State of New York that I can look New Yorkers in the eye and say we have gone through the project, we have gone through the project with the best minds on the globe and this is the best way to do it and the fastest way to do it,” he said in a statement issued after the tour.
The shutdown, which is due to begin on April 27, is the result of damage inflicted on the tunnel by Superstorm Sandy. It was originally scheduled to last for 18 months, but has been shaved down to 15 months; Cuomo tasked the engineers who joined him on the tour to report back on if it can be completed within an even shorter timeframe. They’re due to provide that intel in three weeks—which is creeping even closer to the shutdown’s start date.
L train riders, meanwhile, dealt with disruptions to overnight service as a result of Cuomo’s last-dash tour.
Cuomo’s office also released b-roll of the tour, which is mostly interesting for a peek at the tunnel’s current conditions.