New York MTA to meet in emergency session on Tuesday

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NEW YORK CITY — The board overseeing New York's subway system will meet in an emergency session on Tuesday to discuss an expert panel's suggestion that an important L-train line could remain open during extensive repairs rather than shut down.

The L train runs roughly east-west through New York and under the East River. It was scheduled for a complete shutdown later this year for nearly 18 months to repair damage incurred during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Earlier in January, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released findings from an expert panel that said the shutdown was unnecessary.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority board members and staff are expected to be joined by WSP Engineering staff along, with original project designers, to discuss modifications to the original tunnel restoration plan. WSP studied the former and current design alternatives, and the new construction schedule developed by the construction firms Judlaw Engineering and JV Electric.

Voting for the revised plan is expected to occur at the next MTA Board Meeting, scheduled for Jan. 24.

The 10-mile, 90 year-old L-train line, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn is currently a flash point for riders over the projected 15-month closure for Hurricane Sandy remediation, which is still scheduled to start at the end of April.

Under the new plan, the MTA would be able to run trains during a projected 15-to 20-month timeframe, which will vary on how much remediation tunnel work needs to be done. Partial shutdowns for night and weekend closure will be necessary, limited for one tube of the two tubes, leaving the other to run trains in both directions. Wait times will be longer: projected headways would be 15 to 20 minutes, as opposed to no direct service under the original plan.

Sunday’s New York Times reported Andy Byford, president of New York City Transit, was conducting an independent review of the plan and would not sign on unless he was convinced of its safety and durability.

“I own the risk,” The Times cites Byford saying. “I am the president, the accountable person. This is my job.”

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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