For 15 months, the Canarsie tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan will be shut down for repairs after damages from Superstorm Sandy. The L train will not run from Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg to 8th Avenue in Manhattan.
However, the L line will operate in Brooklyn from Bedford Avenue to Canarsie’s Rockaway Parkway station.
For months, both the MTA and the city’s Department of Transportation have planned alternative options for the 225,000 riders who travel between the two boroughs via the L train daily.
Officials expect about 79 percent of diverted riders will use other subway lines. To accommodate those straphangers, the MTA will add service on the J, Z and M lines over the Williamsburg Bridge, lengthen and add service to the G train, and increase service on the 7 line. Those changes will begin on April 28.
About 17 percent of riders are expected to travel by bus. The MTA will run 200 buses and add five additional bus routes from Brooklyn to destinations in Manhattan. The Williamsburg Bridge, which figures to be an important part of the mitigation effort, will have a HOV 3-plus lane.
Along Grand Street in Brooklyn, the city will install a westbound bus-only lane. Cars can only drive on Grand Street for one block before turning at the next available street.
The remaining four percent of commuters are expected to take the ferry. The MTA and the city’s Economic Development Corporation are implementing a new route connecting north Williamsburg to Stuyvesant Cove on East 20th Street. Fares for the ferry will be the same as the subway or bus.
All of these changes will begin on Sunday, April 21, allowing riders to get used to their new travel pattern a week before the shutdown.
“We’re continuing unprecedented efforts at public outreach, responding to local communities and giving as much notice as possible on key dates in this project,” said NYCT President Andy Byford. “We’ve been hard at work with our partners at the NYCDOT and other city agencies to make sure that the alternate train, bus, ferry and bicycle networks work together to get people around successfully.”
Starting in January, the MTA and DOT will host a series of open houses, pop-up events and mobile information centers to inform customers of the changes and help them plan ahead.
Expect overnight and weekend service closures in February, March and April from 8th Avenue to Broadway Junction in Brooklyn in advance of the full closure.
DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said crews are already putting down new street markings for bus lanes and bike lanes ahead of next April.
“From a ‘bus bridge’ over the Williamsburg Bridge to the 14th Street Busway, from more Citi Bikes to expanded pedestrian space for displace L train commuters, we and our MTA partners are up for this enormous challenge,” she said.