Too bad for all those New Yorkers who moved to Bushwick, thinking it would be the next Lower East Side— the rent is just as expensive, but now there will be no way to leave their homes. That’s right, the L train is officially closing for 18 months, starting January 2019.
Rumors have been swirling for months about the future of the L, ever since word broke about the damage done to the line during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Since then, the MTA has been trying to figure out the best way to make the very necessary repairs. In a statement released today, the MTA explained their reasoning for choosing to shut down the line completely, as opposed to doing the work one track at a time.
“We think it is better to have a shorter duration of pain than a longer more unstable process—and risk unplanned closures—by leaving one track open during construction,” said NYCT President Veronique Hakim, who led a series of community meetings with the residents who would be most affected by the closure, before making a final decision. “This is the, ‘Get in, get done, get out,’ option.”
In addition to fixing damage done by superstorm Sandy, the MTA plans to also make some significant updates and improvements, including new stairs and elevators at the Bedford and 1st Avenue stops, and more electric substations, allowing more trains to run during rush hour.
The MTA and city officials are now focused on developing alternative riding options for commuters who depend on the L. They’ve considered adding more cars to the notoriously small G train, as well as implementing a number of additional buses and bus schedules. Either way, it seems like all those who flocked to Brooklyn over the last few years better really like it there, because it doesn’t look like they’ll be leaving anytime soon.