It was a tour de farce!
Gov. Cuomo made an early Friday “inspection” of an L-train tunnel that disrupted service, proudly released photos of himself underground — and then came to the same conclusion the MTA has had for years: The looming shutdown will last 15 months.
“I’m not holding out hope,” Cuomo said, when asked if he thinks the timeline can change. “New Yorkers are willing to bear the expense and the burden of change, and they get that sometimes big projects are required, but they want to make sure that it’s really done right and it really has to be done,” he told 1010 Wins.
Cuomo announced Monday that he wanted to see for himself if the massive Canarsie Tunnel project really needed to take 15 months and seriously hamper more than 225,000 daily commutes.
He brought his own experts from both Cornell’s and Columbia’s engineering schools for the tour, which caused the shutdown of one L train tunnel under the East River from around midnight to 1:30 a.m. Friday.
Trains during that time normally run every 12 minutes, but angry riders said wait times were a half-hour during the closure.
“MTA lemme ask y’all a question. how the f–k did i wait a half hour for the L train only to get on and it be delayed? like who the f–k was in front of us?” tweeted a rider who uses the handle Lil Xan.
Cuomo called for his own review after years of planning by the MTA and city Department of Transportation.
Nearly all of the contracts for the project — set to start in April — are signed, and the MTA has spent months doing preliminary work while the DOT has planned new bus routes and painted new bus and bike lanes in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. “Many professionals have looked at this and have ascertained what needs to be done there,” said Andrew Albert, an MTA board member who heads the New York City Transit Riders Council. “We’ve had two chairmen and agency presidents and a whole host of experts inspect the tunnel.”
Cuomo said he’s still not totally satisfied the MTA has made all the right decisions. He’s going to wait for reports from his experts and weigh changes.
“One conclusion that can be reached is everything that is being done is right and there are no suggestions. Second option is we have some minor suggestions to make that could save some time.
Third suggestion is we have improvements that we can make to the system. And the fourth suggestion is we have a totally different theory of how this can be done. New materials, new engineering techniques, etcetera,” he said Friday.
“I’m not going to pursue a project because we executed a contract. We’ll adjust the contract to fit the project we want to do.”
Additional reporting by C.J. Sullivan
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