Governor calls off planned shutdown of NYC subway line

Cuomo announces L train service will not shut down thanks to new type of tunnel design suggested by experts

The announcement came after years of planning for the upheaval expected to be caused by the tunnel's closure, which was supposed to happen in April. Some moved out of their neighborhoods.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that a new technique that has been used in Europe but never in the U.S. is being studied by Cornell and Columbia engineers.

"We needed an idea outside the box", he said.

"No 'L-pocalypse!" added Fernando Ferrer, the MTA's acting chairman.

Many L train riders were elated to learn the news Thursday.

"It didn't feel very secure at all", she said. "I was thinking how much money I was going to have to spend on Ubers".

Gov. Andrew Cuomo abruptly canceled the plan Thursday, just three months before it was to take effect, saying a team of experts had come up with a way to overhaul a flood-damaged tunnel beneath the East River without closing it or even significantly curtailing service.

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Asked whether he would promise that work would not exceed 20 months, Cuomo said: "I can't promise".

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the subway, had said the closing was necessary to fix damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012, when the tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn was inundated by floodwaters. Cuomo concluded, at that time, that the project could not be changed, and the tunnel would have to be shut down for the planned 15 months.

And it will shave more than a year off the prior timeline for repairing the Tube while running reduced service on the line, because workers will install brand new electrical cables along the sides of the two tunnels instead of removing and rebuilding the so-called bench walls that now enclose the storm-damaged cables, according to the governor and the engineering experts he recently toured the Tube with.

"So long as this new strategy proves to be real, the mayor thinks this is great news for L-train riders", a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

He explained his Musk maneuver by complaining that the MTA is beholden to a "transportation-industrial complex" controlled by backward-thinking consultants and contractors who hold it hostage to outdated tech. "This is certainly no way to run a railroad".

The head of the Riders' Alliance, however, has his doubts.

State transit officials back in 2016 began prepping locals for the closure, floating two options for the fix: completely shuttering the Canarsie Tube for 18 months to repair it, or drastically cutting service on the line in order to slowly restore the infrastructure over three years.

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