The Briefly for January 4, 2019 – The “Shutdown of the L Train Shutdown” Edition

A deep dive into the news about Governor Cuomo’s shutdown of the L train shutdown, with details about the timeline, the work being done, the reactions and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Subway Work

The holidays are over, welcome back to the weekend insanity of the MTA’s scheduled subway closures. This weekend starts the end of 7 train service between Queens and Manhattan and a ton of other closures and disruptions. (6sqft)


Let’s take a complete look at the L train un-shutdown.

The rumors hit the @TransitCenter Twitter account at midnight.

The Governor held a press conference to break the news at 12:45pm. (NY Times)

No L-pocalypse” -MTA chairman Fernando Ferrer. (Time Out)

This throws three years of planning out the window. (Second Avenue Sagas)

“There would need to be some night and weekend closures of only one tube, so service would still work because there are two tunnels.” -Governor Cuomo (Brooklyn Paper)

“No, I am not in charge of the MTA…Yes, I did ask this group, I convened this group, I got them access, I facilitated their research, they came up with their conclusion, they presented it to the MTA, and the MTA said it’s a better way to do it.” -Also Governor Cuomo (Greenpointers)

5 bars near the L train Jefferson stop (Bushwick Daily)

The repairs will proceed on a 15-20 month time frame and regular weekday service will continue and nights and weekends will run on a single track. (Second Avenue Sagas)

The methods are innovative and have been implemented in Europe, but never in a tunnel restoration project. (Brooklyn Eagle)

“Either the academics are wrong or the MTA and its vendors are totally incompetent.” -Reinvent Albany’s John Kaehny (Politico)

There will still be additional service on the J/M/Z and 7. (Curbed)

The academics used were experts from Columbia and Cornell Universities. (BrooklynVegan)

The unstable walls in the tunnel that contain ducts for power and communications cables and serves as a maintenance and emergency walkways will be removed and weakened ones will be reinforced. (6sqft)

The existing walls will still be fortified and fitted with sensors to detect further damage, but the power and communication cables will be “racked” to the walls of the main tunnels instead of inside the existing walls. (amNY)

Racking the cables to the wall gives engineers easier access to them. This method is currently being used in London, Riyadh and Hong Kong. (Streetsblog)

The new project will take around the same time and come within the current $477 million contract to replace the tunnel with Judlau and TC Electric and approved by the MTA’s board. (amNY)

The plans for a high-occupancy lane on the Williamsburg Bridge will likely not be moving forward, according to Andy Byford. (NY Times)

While it’s still inconvenient, the people who got reduced rents based on the shutdown are ecstatic. (NY Post)

The City Council is still pushing for transportation alternatives like the CitiBike expansion, new bike lanes, and widening the sidewalks on 14th St. The bike lanes that are already built and the CitiBike expansion are the only confirmed improvements. (Streetsblog)

Where to eat along the L train. (The Infatuation)


If you read these stories about how elevator mishaps killed New Yorkers, you may never want to step foot in an elevator again. (The Real Deal)

Candy Nations, Summer in Winter and 21 more public art installations not to miss this month. (Untapped Cities)

A judge blocked the law that would have forced Airbnb to disclose private information about listings on the site. (NY Times)

Jake the dog was missing since December 30 and has been safely reunited with his family after causing a subway traffic jam on the Williamsburg Bridge. (Gothamist)

If you’re gonna rob an Apple Store of $75 worth of tech, make sure to cover your face. (NY Post)

Noted racist Aaron Schlossberg is suing after his recorded tirade went viral and he learned that actions have consequences. (NY Post)

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