L train shutdown could affect Manhattan subway stops

MTA officials reportedly considering closure of five stations along 14th Street served by line

L Train Manhattan
The L train's Manhattan stops, between Eight and First avenues

It’s not just Brooklynites who may have to suffer the consequences of an extensive shutdown of the L train, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is reportedly considering a shutdown of the subway line’s Manhattan stops as well.

In addition to closing off both tracks of the L train’s Canarsie Tube, the tunnel beneath the East River which connects Manhattan to Brooklyn, an MTA shutdown of the line could include closing down the five Manhattan stops along 14th Street served by the crosstown train.

MTA officials have also weighed the possibility of maintaining limited service between the L train’s Manhattan stops, spanning from Eighth to First avenues, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

The L doesn’t intersect with other lines in Manhattan, so a full closure would prevent cars from getting to the yard in East New York for repairs or inspections.

“Those trains could then be trapped,” this source said to the Journal. “It all depends on the construction schedule and the plan.”

A full shutdown of the century-old Canarsie Tube, lasting about 18 months, would help facilitate extensive repairs due to age and damage sustained from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Other options include closing one direction of the tunnel at a time, allowing trains to continue running between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

While work isn’t expected to begin until late 2018 or 2019, real estate observers are already bracing for the potential effects such a move would have on the commercial and residential markets, particularly in North Brooklyn hotspots like Williamsburg and Bushwick. [WSJ]Rey Mashayekhi