Starting July 6, the Greenpoint Tube will close for 12 weekends (July 6-7, 13-14, 20-21; August 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25; September 7-8, 28-29; October 5-6; December 7-8, and 14-15), as well as a five-week complete service closure in the summer of 2014.
The Montague Tube, a 1-mile stretch of tunnels that carry the R train under the East River, will also close for up to 14 months starting the first week in August. The tube was flooded with corrosive salt water for a length of 4,025 ft. and a depth of 20 ft. for up to 10 days.
More than 27 million gallons of water were pumped from the Montague tube before any repairs could begin after the storm.
“Closing these two subway tubes is a difficult but necessary step to restore them to the condition they were in before Sandy Struck,” said Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) acting chairman Fernando Ferrer. “The temporary repairs that returned these tubes to operation after Sandy are not enough to provide reliable service.”
The MTA also plans to repair ventilation controls, and lighting and communication systems still gone unrestored to their pre-Sandy condition.
“Even after we restored service through the tubes again, signal and other component failures rose dramatically,” said Thomas Prendergast, MTA interim executive director. “The chief area of concern is the tubes’ mechanical and electrical systems that were subjected to salt water accelerating the deterioration of these vital systems and reducing their reliability over time.”
Councilman Stephen Levin called on the MTA last week to coordinate with the East River Ferry to accept MetroCards at the India Street stop and provide funding to help expedite CitiBike station developments in North Brooklyn to help commuters.
“The neighborhoods of Greenpoint and North Williamsburg are already undeserved,” Levin said. “While I understand the need for the MTA to make these necessary repairs, they must also acknowledge that the planned shutdown will make it exceedingly difficult for residents to get to work and move about the city.”
While a representative from the MTA said, “Ferries are not an option we are looking at,” they did however respond to Levin’s request by saying they, “are in early discussions with Department of Transportation (DOT) to examine ways to accelerate bringing CitiBike to North Brooklyn.”
A DOT representative assured that plans to further extend CitiBike service in portions of Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Queens Community Board 2 are in the works.
“These areas were scheduled to be part of the initial pre-Sandy roll out, and when NYC Bike Share receives Sandy relief resources and can order the equipment, stations can be implemented in the Northside, Greenpoint and LIC,” said DOT representative.