Home Asides It’s official: Montague St. Tunnel R train service to resume tomorrow

It’s official: Montague St. Tunnel R train service to resume tomorrow

by Benjamin Kabak

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.

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John T December 20, 2012 - 7:00 pm

Rode the J train to Fulton St yesterday, very strong musty order in teh station. Bracing myself for the R train trip from Court to Whitehall tomorrow morning and I’m hoping it isn’t too bad.

BoerumBum December 21, 2012 - 9:15 am

Yeah, I took the R uptown from Rector yesterday, and the station had a pretty brackish odor as well. It’ll probably be some time at least before the more familiar smells of garbage and urine return. 😛

Phantom December 20, 2012 - 7:06 pm

I’ll be right there with you.

Long live the R train!!

John December 20, 2012 - 10:44 pm

“Electrical and signal systems were rebuilt from scratch, and pump rooms and fan plants were heavily damaged.” All of this in less than two months’ time for an entire East River crossing. Amazing. Yet my client, who lives at 96th and Second Ave., has been looking out her window at the same crane day in and day out for nearly three years. Something just doesn’t add up here. Or maybe I’m comparing apples and oranges. I don’t know. It’s just frustrating to me.

Benjamin Kabak December 20, 2012 - 10:46 pm

Mostly you’re comparing apples to oranges, but it is amazing what the MTA can accomplish when nose meets grindstone….

Nathanael December 21, 2012 - 7:43 am

(1) Tunneling is slow. That’s mostly done now for SAS but it did take years just to drill the tunnels.
(2) Utility relocation for the SAS was a mess; nobody knew where the utilties were and then all the utility companies dragged their feet and attempted to bill the MTA for it; the same thing happened with the owners of dilapidated buildings and the Department of Buildings, who stole money from the MTA budget because they could. This early stuff caused most of the delays.
(3) The heavy work, “rough-in” and concrete pouring, part of station construction can take a long time.

In contrast, electrical, signal, and ventilations systems should go quick if they’ve been designed properly.

D in Bushwick December 21, 2012 - 1:02 am

I wonder if the water-soaked wood ties will be as warped as the tracks are now in the L Train East River tunnel? What used to be unusually smooth ride (for the MTA) now shimmies like a hula dancer.

Nathanael December 21, 2012 - 7:44 am

Maybe next time they replace the ties they can use the plastic/rubber ties which the CTA in Chicago is now using in its tunnels.

Matthias December 21, 2012 - 2:22 pm

Does anyone know why we are still using wood? Seems like most other systems just bolt the rails to the concrete floor.

Someone December 21, 2012 - 5:36 pm

The MTA hasn’t yet realised how quickly wood can rot.

Someone December 21, 2012 - 4:14 am

A big plus for R train riders who really need a one seat ride from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

On a different note, isn’t the world ending tomorrow…? (Just kidding.)

John-2 December 21, 2012 - 9:46 am

I think it was written in the Mayan calendar the Montague tunnel would reopen on 12/21/12…

Phantom December 21, 2012 - 1:28 pm

The R ran a little slow through the tunnel this morning but its good to have it back.

There were lots of people getting on at Whitehall SF

And ( no coincidence ) a friend at work told me that the 4 train was less crowded this morning.

Good work.


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