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JeremiahC99

L Train Tunnel Work Far Ahead of Schedule. Possible April 2020 Completion Date Expected

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From NY Times: https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-mta-l-train-ahead-schedule-demolition-20190624-r4zeluxaojfq3k436fndvrpf4m-story.html

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MTA workers and journalists inside L train tunnel during media tour in April. (Go Nakamura/for New York Daily News)

Anyone remember the fear over the L-pocalypse?

The redesigned modernization of the L train’s East River tunnel is a month ahead of schedule — and the whole project may be finished by April 2020, sources tell the Daily News.

Under the MTA’s original East River tunnel plan, L service was to be shut down for 15 to 20 months. The redesigned project only requires reduced service on nights and weekends, and will take a bit less time to complete.

All the major demolition work on the East River tunnel should be done by the end of this month, said Wayne Faulkner of JMT, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s consultant on the project. That part of the job includes removing 6,800 feet of crumbling concrete duct bank that houses long-abandoned Con Ed power lines on each side of the tunnel’s tubes.

The broken-up concrete was taken to the MTA’s Linden Yard in Brownsville, Brooklyn via work trains, said the MTA’s head of capital construction, Janno Lieber.

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“One of the advantages of the approach that was taken when the project adjusted means and methods was you didn’t have to take all that huge amount of debris out through the Avenue A exit [in the East Village],” Lieber said.

The duct bank demolition is independent from what was previously the main part of the job — the removal of 35,000 feet of concrete from the tunnel’s bench walls.

The bench wall demolition was drastically scaled back. Instead of tearing out the bench wall, the MTA will wrap 7,900 feet of it with a polymer shells. The cables housed within the bench walls will be replaced with new fireproof cables hung along the tunnel walls.

The bulk of the remaining work includes stringing the new cables along the length of the tunnel and installing the bench walls’ polymer coating.

Crews tested the polymer material, and Faulkner said the shells could hold up for up to 100 years. Riders will have to walk along the polymer shell in the case of a rare in-tunnel train evacuation.

The amount of silica dust being kicked up during the concrete demolition meets safety standards, Faulkner said. Some rider advocates were worried about the silica dust, which can damage lungs when inhaled at high concentrations.

Gov. Cuomo pushed for the new approach to the L project after seeking advice from engineering schools around the state. Some MTA officials had expressed skepticism of the redesign.

“As a former naysayer who had significant concerns about this, I have to say that this is a very good report and I’m very happy to see it,” said MTA board member Susan Metzger.

The MTA continues to run reduced service on nights and weekends, but those changes have proven to be less painful than MTA officials first thought.

Many riders are switching to the J and M lines while the L train work is done. The agency also recently reduced service on its free shuttle buses in Brooklyn between the L, J and M lines due to low ridership.

Apparently, they think that L Train Project Tunnel work can be completed by next April. Are we to believe this?

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