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L train subway shutdown: Governor Cuomo cancels closure

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made a surprise subway announceent Thursday.

One of the New York City’s most crowded subway lines connected Brooklyn and Manhattan will not shut down for 15 months as previously planned, and an alternative

The L train, which connects far-flung parts of Brooklyn including the Rockaways and Canarsie to Manhattan via popular neighborhoods like Bushwick and Williamsburg, saw its two tunnels beneath the East River badly damaged in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy.

Six years later, officials said the tubes needed a complete closure beginning in April to repair damage from flooding, which inundated the tracks and corroded signals and other electrical equipment.

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Meanwhile, the agency has been scrambling to figure out how to transport the line’s 250,000 daily commuters on buses and connecting subway lines. Experts were projecting crippling congestion on the Williamsburg Bridge, and even more packed trains on the few other options for the North Brooklyn neighborhood.

The impending transit emergency caused rents to drop in affected neighborhoods, many of which as much as a 45 minute walk away from other trains. Luxury buildings along the waterfront even announced plans for shuttles to Manhattan and other subway lines. Even more audacious hopefuls proposed things like a tram across the river or a floating pontoon bridge.

In December, Governor Cuomo toured the L train tunnels with engineering experts from Columbia and Cornell Universities. “The tunnel is supposed to close in four months and I just want to be doubly sure that everything that can be done has been done,” he said in a radio interview after that tour.

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