Restoration of the R train tunnel below the East River is planned for the next 14 months
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will begin the 14-month suspension of R subway service between Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. Beginning Friday, August 2nd at 11:30 p.m., the R-train's Montague Tube under the East River will be fully closed.
The last Brooklyn-bound train is scheduled to depart Whitehall St at approximately 11:33 p.m. The last Manhattan-bound train is scheduled to leave Court St at approximately 11:32 p.m. Service is expected to be restored by approximately early fall 2014.
The extensive restoration project marks the start of the "Fix&Fortify" program, for which Governor Andrew Cuomo helped secure $3.8 billion in federal funding to rebuild flood-damaged infrastructure while reducing the subway system's vulnerability to future natural disasters. The MTA is well into the most extensive and wide-ranging reconstruction effort in its history after Superstorm Sandy decimated the subway system last fall.
The Montague Tube suffered extensive damage during the storm, when it was flooded with saltwater along with seven other interborough subway tubes. While the MTA restored service as quickly as possible after the storm, this far more extensive work would be necessary, especially as a preventative measure for future storms.
The scope of work for the tunnel is extensive, amounting to a near rebuilding of the link connecting Lower Manhattan with Brooklyn. It will be completed in two contracts: first, repair of all right-of-way components except signals and; second, repair of signal equipment. Work on the Montague Tube is estimated to cost $308.6 million in total, with $220.6 million invested in the right-of-way component repairs.
A customer information campaign also is being launched for these projects include posters, brochures, and online updates.
"The job that we have ahead of us is an enormous challenge and we are grateful for the support that we have received from Governor Cuomo and the federal government in securing the funds necessary to perform these vital tasks," said Thomas Prendergast, MTA chairman and CEO. "These investments in repairing and reinforcing the system's infrastructure will help safeguard the most vulnerable areas of our subway system for decades to come."
The G train's Greenpoint Tube also suffered extensive damage during Hurricane Sandy, and is part of the Fix&Fortify campaign. Work there was launched in July 2013, continuting over another nine weekends this year, though they will not be consecutive. Additionally, a five-weekend shutdown is planned for 2014. The northernmost three stops, Greenpoint Av, 21 St and Court Square, are closed during these weekends with two shuttle bus routes linking the Nassau Av station on the G Line with Court Sq, and another from the Lorimer St L station to Court Sq. (Click here for ongoing G train updates.)
In addition to the work inside the Montague and Greenpoint Tubes, the MTA also will address issues in other under-river tubes, including planning and design work for flood mitigation in low-lying areas of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens -- as well as similar flood prevention and mitigation work at the entrances to several subway stations in Lower Manhattan.
Online project updates updates on the R subway/Montague Tunnel work is at: http://web.mta.info/nyct/service/R_14monthMontagueTunnelClosure.htm.