It’s Finally Time to Start Fixing the R Train After Sandy… For Over a Year (UPDATED)


Second maybe to the A train in the Rockaways, the damage wrecked by Hurricane Sandy to the Montague Tunnel was devastating: The underground tunnel beneath the Brooklyn Bridge witnessed the worst flooding of any line in the city, leaving the R train out of commission for nearly a month and a half after the storm made landfall. And, now, a little over six months later, the MTA has begun repairs.

When the R train was up and running again in mid-December, the track was just revived to a level where trains could at least run back and forth between Brooklyn and Manhattan. However, upon taking a closer look, it seems as if everything else down there is basically FUBAR. No, really.

The following from Gothamist is an excerpt for the MTA’s bid for repairs:

“Work includes the demolition of existing duct banks; removal & disposal of existing tunnel lighting, conduits, wiring, fixtures, ballast & receptacles; construction of new duct banks; installation of new Power & Communications cables in the new duct banks… rehabilitation of two substations (Montague Furman Substation & Broadway-Park Row Substation); new tunnel lighting including fixtures, wiring, & conduit; replacing isolation dampers & wiring for the fan plant; replacement of three submersible pumps & new AC/DC lighting at the pump rooms …”

Unfortunately, for the strap-hanging types, this translates into delays, shutdowns on the weekends, and things of that nature. And hurricane season is starting again. Do work, MTA.

UPDATE: It looks like the Montague Tunnel will be closed for 14 months, starting in August…

The video above, provided by the MTA today, takes an inside look at just what exactly happened to the Brooklyn Bridge tunnel. And it’s pretty bad. Also, R train riders, this is what you should expect come August:

On weekdays, the R will run in two sections during this time, from Forest Hills-71st Street in Queens to Whitehall Street in Manhattan, and from Court Street to Bay Ridge-95th Street in Brooklyn. The estimated 65,000 daily riders affected will be accommodated by trains running between Brooklyn and Manhattan on the 2345ABCDFN and Q lines, all of which are accessible from the R train’s final four stations in Brooklyn. On weekends, the R will be re-routed over the Manhattan Bridge serving all stations with the exception of Court Street and Jay-Street-MetroTech in Brooklyn and the City Hall, Cortlandt, Rector, and Whitehall Street stations in Lower Manhattan. Overnights, the N which is normally re-routed through the tunnel to replace the R, will instead continue to operate over the Manhattan Bridge at all times.

Even eight months later, Sandy is still pissing everybody off.