Last week, the MTA announced that they have awarded a contract to rehabilitate the Rutgers Tube, which carries the F train under the East River between York Street in Downtown Brooklyn and East Broadway in Lower Manhattan.
Agency officials said they will use lessons learned from the L train project, so work will be done during overnight hours and on weekends. The tunnel will not be fully closed during the project.
“The L train project demonstrated that the MTA can deliver major projects much faster and at less cost than anybody expected,” said Janno Lieber, president of MTA Construction and Development. “With the Rutgers tube we’re on a mission to prove that we can make it the norm, as we continue to embrace advanced technologies and private sector development techniques.”
Prep work will begin in August, but the major work is expected to start in mid-September. The project is slated to be completed next spring.
Some 35,000 riders ride the F train underneath the East River daily. Work will be done overnight, coinciding with subway shutdowns that have been taking place every night for cleaning during the pandemic.
On some overnights and weekends between August 2020 and March 2021, F trains will be rerouted on the C line between Jay Street-MetroTech and West 4th Street, and also via the E line from West 4th Street to 36th Street in Queens.
The East Broadway and York Street stations will be closed on weekday evenings after 10 p.m., and on select weekends when work is underway.
Much like the Canarsie Tube rehabilitation, the Rutgers Tube will be rebuilt, and some components will be replaced with new parts. The federally funded project will install a cable management racking system like the one used for the L train project.
Other work includes replacement of track, signal equipment, power and communication cables, fan plant equipment, tunnel lighting and pumps. As a resiliency measure, the pump controls will be relocated outside of the flood zone and a backup generator connection will be installed.
According to the MTA, the F train tunnel was flooded with more than 1.5 million gallons of water during the hurricane.
“Once complete, we will have rehabilitated every tunnel damaged during Sandy, further fortifying the system against future natural disasters,” said Sarah Feinberg, interim president of New York City Transit. “We’re working to make sure this work leads to as few disruptions as possible for our customers and look forward to getting this vital project underway in the weeks ahead.”
In another part of Brooklyn, the MTA is accelerating the installation of new elevators at a train station in Sunset Park. The agency will install elevators at the 59th Street subway stop on the N and R lines 11 months ahead of schedule.
The project not only features three new elevators, but also an expansion to the north mezzanine and other work to make the station ADA accessible.
The bulk of the work is expected to be completed by October 2020, with other improvements set to be done by the end of January 2021.
Though the MTA expects the acceleration of the project to cost $3.5 million, including an incentive for early or on-time completion, the cost will be partially offset by $2.65 million saved by shortening the project timeline.
“Expediting the project will allow more customers in Brooklyn to easily access this station far sooner than expected, and that’s a huge win for the community,” said Alex Elegudin, NYC Transit’s senior advisor for systemwide accessibility. “This acceleration is a clear signal that the MTA is steadfast in its commitment as it works to make more of the subway system accessible as quickly as possible.”