Multiple subway lines will remain shuttered through the afternoon—and many others are in disarray—as workers scramble to address this morning's water main break near Lincoln Center.
While emergency officials have been able stop the gushing, the deluge that collected near Broadway and West 66th—knee deep in some places—has seeped onto the tracks, forcing the agency to suspend service on the 1, 2 and 3 lines between Times Square and 96th Street until at least 2 p.m. Customers may board Metro-North's Hudson Line at Marble Hill and Grand Central for no additional cost, the agency said.
The surprise shutdown was having a "domino effect" on 4, 5, 6, A, B, C, and D service throughout the morning, leading to herds of frustrated commuters at stations from Washington Heights to Brooklyn Heights. Bus routes near Midtown have also been afflicted by severe delays. Below, a look at the good times commuters have been sharing this fine Monday morning:
"We have a massive task at hand due to the water main break and are trying to mitigate all conditions caused by it at the same time," a rep for NYC Transit noted on Twitter. "We hope to have the condition corrected soon so the congestion can be mitigated."
A spokesperson for the MTA tells Gothamist that, by the time the DEP was able to shut off the leak, 500,000 gallons of water had infiltrated the subway system. Crews of workers have been deployed onto the tracks to dry out the mess. (Fun fact: the MTA pumps out roughly 13 million gallons of water from the entire transit system on a dry day).
Officials have not yet named the source of the leak, though the local block association put the blame on the area's 120 year old pipes. A recent report from the Center for Urban Future found that the city has accelerated its repair of aging water mains. At the same time, new developments, including the climate crisis, were posing added stresses to the decrepit infrastructure. There were a total of 588 water main breaks in 2019, the highest total in over a decade, according to the report.
Ted Timbers, of the Department of Environmental Protection, has also suggested that this weekend's extreme temperature fluctuation may have played a role in the main break.
We'll update this story as more info becomes available.