New L train plan will save time, but skeptics wonder if it's safe

An emergency meeting regarding the new L train rehabilitation plan was held Tuesday to provide clarity to MTA officials and the public.

News 12 Staff

Jan 15, 2019, 11:55 PM

Updated 2,007 days ago

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An emergency meeting regarding the new L train rehabilitation plan was held Tuesday to provide clarity to MTA officials and the public.
The discussion was called in response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's December announcement of a new plan that won't involve the original 15-month shutdown.
The meeting started with members of the public expressing their concerns regarding the new plan and their desire to move forward with it.
A presentation was then given by the senior vice president of WSP, an engineering consultant firm that is leading the plan. It explained that the main difference between the two plans is that instead of focusing on demolishing and replacing the bench wall housing the cables inside the tunnel, the bench wall will be reinforced and refurbished where necessary and the cables will be racked on the wall of the tunnel.
Advocates of the new plan say it will limit the amount of inconvenience for New York commuters, but skeptics wonder if it is fully safe. Those against the new plan are also asking why it took so long to come up with an alternate option after years of planning the original project.
"As someone that believes in innovation I think we always have to be open for new ideas but the city should be reimbursed for all the money we spent planning for three years," said Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the Committee on Transportation.
Rodriguez says he plans to call for an MTA hearing in the City Council.
MTA board members also expressed disappointment that they were some of the last people notified of Cuomo's announcement about the change in plan.
Consultants will now finish evaluating specifics of the project including the amount of bench wall that has to be removed, the exact timeline and a way to mitigate airborne silica - which is often byproduct of concrete demolition that can dangerous to workers and commuters.
The board has final approval over the plan. They will be handed a contract change after evaluations, which they then have to approve with a vote.
The earliest a vote can come is next Thursday.
 


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