L train

Gov. Andrew Cuomo/Flickr

Advocates Raise Concerns Over Safety Of L Train Project

April 10, 2019 - 7:51 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Construction is expected to get underway for the Canarsie Tunnel project in just two weeks, but many are worried about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan and say it’s not vetted and could be unsafe.

As WCBS 880’s Steve Burns reports, there’s still many questions that remain for the L train slowdown construction project: What's the price tag? When will work be done? Is the air safe to breathe?

Gov. Cuomo stepped up in January to prevent a full 15-month shutdown of the L train as construction workers were set to repair the crumpling infrastructure that connects Brooklyn and Manhattan.

However, there’s still a lot up in the air about the new project, which calls for work to be done during nights and weekends and prevents the tunnel from being torn apart.

“We’ve been doing a lot of public outreach,” said the MTA's managing director Veronique Hakim. She adds that the agency has been trying to make riders aware of the other transportation options.

“We’re encouraging people to take alternate subway service, subways will continue to be the fastest way to travel,” Hakim said.

There’s still concerns that the MTA may be downplaying how bad the Canarsie Tunnel project will actually affect subway service. While one sign says the L train will be around “a little less,” there’s not mention of the fact that there will be an 80 percent reduction in service on nights and weekends.

While work is being done, it’s expected for riders to wait up to 20 minutes in between trains.

“We are absolutely wanting to tell our customers this is going to be a challenge,” Hakim said.

She also denounced a recent protest at the Bedford Avenue station in which advocates warned riders that the air quality was going to be dangerous while work was being conducted.

“It’s ludicrous to think that we would do anything to put our employees or our customers at risk,” the MTA official said.

Construction is expected to begin in the tunnel on April 27.