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Canarsie Tunnel Reconstruction

Current Efforts

In the Subway

Rebuilding & Improvements

Our Approach to the Rebuilding Process

The magnitude of the work needed in the Canarsie Tunnel is too great for a closure on nights and weekends only. That left us with two options for getting the work done: closing the entire tunnel for 18 months or running one track at a time for three years. A robust public outreach process was conducted to engage with and obtain input from community stakeholders — customers, business owners, and elected officials. Concurrently, we performed an internal assessment of the two options in terms of efficiency, alternative service, risk and other factors.

Based on the needs of the system and the impact to our customers, we decided that the best way to accomplish this critical work is to close both tubes in the tunnel beginning no sooner than 2019.

In March of this year we were pleased to announce that the closure period has been shortened from 18 to 15 months, due to contractual provisions included to expedite demolition, encourage acceleration of the tunnel work, deter delays, enable traffic mitigation work, and the testing and commissioning of systems.

The two-track closure option offers the following benefits over keeping one track open between Manhattan and Brooklyn:

  • 80% of riders are better off, primarily due to the shorter closure: 15 months instead of 3 years.
  • Connection between Bedford Av and rest of Brooklyn is preserved.
  • Possibility of unplanned service outages during tunnel reconstruction is eliminated.
  • Allows for greater opportunity for contractor innovation and incentives for early completion.

Prior to the 2019 closure, preparatory work will be required, some of which will require weekend closures of the tunnel.

Canarsie Tunnel

  • Built in 1924
  • Cast iron tunnel with concrete liner
  • 2 tubes in tunnel, each carrying 1 track
  • 40 trains per hour go through the tunnel during peak travel
  • 225,000 riders go through the Canarsie Tunnel each weekday

Canarsie Tunnel

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Capacity Improvements


The wide scope of the rehabilitation project not only involves the tunnel, but also the stations near them, and three new power substations, which will allow us to increase L Line icon line capacity by 10 percent.

Bedford Av station in Brooklyn and 1 Av station in Manhattan will receive significant accessibility and capacity upgrades.

1 Av Station Improvements in Manhattan

New elevators and new entrance at Avenue A
New elevators and new entrance at Avenue A

At Avenue A:

  • Building new station entrances on both sides of the 14th street. This will improve service and convenience for Stuyvesant Town and Lower East Side customers and relieve crowding conditions within the station.
  • Installing new elevators serving both platforms, making this station accessible for disabled customers.
  • Installing new turnstiles and MetroCard vending machines.

Bedford Av Station Improvements in Brooklyn


New street-level elevator and entrances added to Bedford Av Station
New street-level elevator and
entrances added to Bedford Av Station

What we’re doing

At the Bedford Av entrance:
• Adding two new street-level stairways
• Adding platform stair capacity
• Expanding the mezzanine
• Adding new elevators to make this station more accessible for disabled customers
• Adding turnstiles

At the Driggs Av entrance:
• Adding two new street stairways
• Redesigning the mezzanine area and adding turnstiles
• Adding a new platform stairway

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