The L train in its current form is not long for this world, and its clear that a lengthy shutdown—either full or partial—looms, potentially affecting riders for years. The MTA hasn't released any comprehensive plan or timeline yet, but it appears the agency's looking to launch the L train tube closure in early 2019.
The MTA Board Committee is meeting on Monday to discuss, among other things, the impending death of the MetroCard, updates on the Second Avenue Subway, and Sandy recovery efforts, which include work on the apparently very-damaged Canarsie Tube. You can take a look at their meeting agenda here [pdf], but the important news is that work on the tube is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2019.
You can see pictures of damage to the tunnel above. In addition to fixing, replacing and reconstructing damaged duct banks, power and communication cables, track, and pump rooms, the MTA plans to make the 1st Avenue and Bedford Avenue stations more ADA accessible—plans are also in place to add more street and platform stairs to the Bedford Avenue station so future L train riders don't have to wait 20 minutes to get onto the street every evening.
The MTA, which did not respond to request for comment, has yet to confirm how long the tunnel will be shut down for, what plans will be in place for riders when the partial or full shutdown does happen, or whether the shutdown will affect stations in Manhattan for the project's duration. City Council Member Stephen Levin, who represents Greenpoint and Williamsburg, has said that a full shutdown could last for two years and a partial one for up to seven years. A spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month that "all options are still being examined" and that the planning process is "fluid."
[h/t Second Ave Sagas]