Amtrak, MTA Officials To Tour East River Tunnels Searching For Similar L Train Fix

January 11, 2019 - 11:33 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Amtrak and MTA officials are going on a tunnel tour Friday to see if Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to fix the L train tunnel can be used elsewhere.

Cuomo asked a team of top engineers at Columbia and Cornell if the MTA had to shut down the L train to fix the tunnel it runs through, and if there was a better way to fix it.

Aparently there is.

An innovative method that is used overseas may be the answer, WCBS 880's Mike Smeltz reported. "It is a design that has not been used in the United States before," Cuomo said.

Worried about a new way to fix Sandy-damaged tunnels immediately intrigued Amtrak who has their own issues they are dealing with at in their East River tunnels.

Amtrak and MTA officials will be going through the tunnels to figure out if they can be rehabbed the same way the L-train tunnel is, Smeltz reported.

Meanwhile, Cuomo’s L train fix needs the approval of the MTA before April, and the MTA has a lot to figure out in a small amount of time.

NYC Transit President Andy Byford says it’s important that his authority gets it right, and he says a full vetting of Cuomo’s shutdown diversion plan is needed.

Regardless, MTA President Patrick Foye told CBS2 that Cuomo’s quick-fix plan could have a far-reaching impact.

“If this proposal works, every contractor in the country and indeed in the world is going to focus on this and be interested in it as a new way to do tunneling,” Foye said.