Reports surfaced on Monday that the R train would make its triumphant return to the Montague St. Tunnel by the end of the week, and what d’ya know? Dreams do come true. R train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan will return in time for Friday’s morning rush hour, Governor Cuomo announced this afternoon. Citing “more than a month of around-the-clock work” in the tunnel, Cuomo trumped the post-Sandy restoration of this vital subway link.
“For the past several weeks the Lexington Avenue Line has been overburdened. Staten Islanders have been forced to find alternate routes to midtown and subway customers from Bay Ridge have endured longer trips and transfers,” he said in a statement. “The return of the full length R route is an enormous achievement that will take some of the pressure off of the 65,000 commuters who use this line every day.”
According to the Governor’s office and MTA officials, crews had to pump 27 million gallons of water and remove significant amounts of debris from the tunnel. The electrical and signal systems were rebuilt from scratch, and pump rooms and fan plants were heavily damaged. Despite tomorrow’s restoration of service, the MTA has warned that temporary service suspensions are likely to continue as workers make permanent repairs. Still, tomorrow is a good day for the connection between Downtown Brooklyn and City Hall. Joe Lhota can only dream his path is that easy.