[UPDATE FROM MTA AT BOTTOM] The hurricane-damaged L train tunnel under the East River isn't the only tunnel that's going to get some love from the MTA in the near future: The Brooklyn Paper has learned that the F train tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan is also in serious need of repair, and the MTA is currently evaluating the best way to go about getting it done. And this may include completely closing the tunnel on weekdays.
Hurricane Sandy flooded the F train’s Rutgers Street tunnel with 1.5 million gallons of seawater, causing extensive damage to the tunnel's infrastructure. It's unclear how long the MTA will need to complete the repairs; as with the looming L tunnel shutdown, the job could be finished faster if the tunnel is shut down completely. The MTA is currently deliberating between completely closing the L train tunnel for 18 months or doing the job over the course of three years, with partial shutdowns.
But as the Brooklyn Paper reports, the MTA's plan for the F tunnel is currently "shrouded in mystery." All we know is that the MTA will name a contractor for the job in 2018. And we also know that the 2 and 3 trains’ Clark Street tunnel is also in need of Sandy-related repairs, but the MTA says those repairs will be less disruptive, with tunnel closures limited to weekends.
Once these tunnel repairs are all complete, the MTA will have finally fixed all the tunnels that needed Hurricane Sandy repairs, and we'll be all set for the next hurricane!
We reached out to the MTA for additional information and we'll update as we learn more.
Update 4:20 p.m.: On the contrary, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz has emailed to say this: "Brooklyn Paper story is completely inaccurate. Work on both the Clark and Rutgers Tubes will happen on weekends. There is no 'shroud of mystery' as they claim."
Update 5:40 p.m.: Brooklyn Paper reporter Lauren Gill writes to defend the original article:
"I stand by my reporting. When I first asked Kevin Ortiz when and how repairs on the tunnel would be done, he did not offer any details, claiming it was too early to know.
"He later did not say anything about weekend closures in correspondence with us after the article was published. Subsequently, state Sen. Daniel Squadron's office brought to my attention a hearing in Albany in which MTA Chief Daniel Prendergrast said repairs to the tunnel shouldn't require weekday closures, and we updated the story to reflect that.
"After that, Ortiz said the MTA will only work on that tunnel on weekends. Fact is, I asked the questions, and reported what I was told."