Those who ride the A, C and F trains between Brooklyn and Manhattan should brace themselves for some tough going as the MTA plans its next round of post-Sandy tube repairs. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.
First came the G, shut down between Brooklyn and Queens for 12 weekends last year with a full five-week outage looming this summer. Then there's the R, whose Manhattan to Brooklyn tube is out of service until October. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says weekend closures for the the A, C and F tubes linking those boroughs are up next. And yes, riders can blame Hurricane Sandy, again.
An exact timetable isn't in place yet. The MTA says only that those jobs can't start until the massive 14-month rebuilding of the R train's storm-ravaged Montague tube is completed.
That's supposed to be in just over six months.
"By and large, it's going fairly well. But it's a one-off. So we're learning an awful lot about what can be done, what can't be done, how can we do it better," said MTA Chairman & CEO Tom Prendergast.
According to a source, one lesson that's been learned is that the next round of tube repairs won't require round-the-clock shutdowns. But the weekend work is still sure to cause a lot of headaches for riders on the A, C and F lines.
It won't be a small job as the preliminary budget for the repairs is more than $50 million.
The MTA says both tubes need new signals, tunnel lighting and pump rooms. There's also work to be done on communication and power cables, to emergency alarm systems and tracks.
All because of the salt water that poured in during the storm, slowly rotting the vital equipment in nine of the MTA's underwater tubes.
"When the tunnels were emptied, there had been tremendous damage to their infrastructure. The sad truth is they have to do this," Prendergast noted.
Riders who spoke with NY1 on the A, C and F weren't thrilled to find out their lines are next for weekend shutdowns, whenever those will be.
"It's totally a headache, but there's not much we can do and for where I live, like I have options. Like the B train," said one rider.
"I go to school during the weekends, I do clinics. I'm going to do a lot of detours," said another rider.
The MTA is still working on how the detours will be laid out. But riders should start thinking about making transfers or spending weekends closer to home since they're in the not-so-distant future.