Saturday, September 13, 2014

Montague subway tunnel to open Monday, N and R ready to roll

Subway Tunnel to Open, Storm Repairs Finished - NYTimes.com

Subway service through a storm-damaged tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan is set to resume in time for the commute on Monday morning, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s website.
The N and R trains will start running through the Montague Tunnel, which has been closed since last summer to repair damage caused when Hurricane Sandy struck in late 2012. The tunnel runs under the East River between Court Street in Brooklyn Heights and the Whitehall Street station near the southern tip of Manhattan.
The reopening of the tunnel will come a couple of weeks ahead of schedule: The authority had said it would be ready by October.
Despite what would seem to be good news, the authority was reluctant to share information.
Adam Lisberg, a spokesman for the transportation authority, declined to comment on the matter, which was reported by The New York Post.
But the Trip Planner function on the authority’s website gave away the plan. It estimated that a trip on the R train from Court Street in Brooklyn Heights to Whitehall Street in Lower Manhattan would take about four minutes on Monday morning. On Friday, that trip would have taken at least 22 minutes and would have involved a transfer from a No. 2 train to a different train or a bus.


Still, the resumption remained a secret in City Hall. A spokesman for Brad Lander, a councilman who represents neighborhoods in Brooklyn, said he had no information about the plan.

The N train is scheduled to use the tunnel on overnight runs beginning late Sunday night, followed by the R in the early morning.

Gene Russianoff, the chief spokesman for the Straphangers Campaign and a regular rider of the R train between Brooklyn and Manhattan, said he had not been notified that service would resume on Monday. But he welcomed the news.

“It will make my commute less horrific,” Mr. Russianoff said.

For more than a year now, he said, he has been taking the F train to Jay Street and switching on an often overcrowded platform to the A train to get to his office near City Hall.

“The R train is a train that at least has a little breathing room,” Mr. Russianoff said, adding that he looked forward to finding a seat at least occasionally.

His colleague Cate Contino said she was “ecstatic” about being able to ride the R to work again and no longer having to switch train lines at Canal Street.

“This is great if they’re opening two weeks early on such a massive project,” Ms. Contino said. “That’s something to be lauded. This is a good job well done.”