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Worksite Commitment: Tunnel Reconstruction Project

The L subway line reconstruction project is underway, and we know it’s disruptive for the community, especially at 1st Av in Manhattan and at Bedford Av in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We are committed to keeping the construction areas safe, and as easy as possible to navigate. Our aim is to minimize disruption to your daily life as much as possible.


Three Things to Know


  1. Work hours: Sometimes work will happen underground overnight, but above ground work will never be 24/7.
  2. Noise: The contractors are following noise rules from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and they have found that we are currently in compliance.
  3. Air quality: We have a dust control plan in place, and are measuring its effectiveness with monitors that are tracking for PM10. We are currently in compliance.

Here is more detail about our commitment at the worksite, and we will continue updating this list throughout the project.


A safe jobsite for you and our workers. Safety is our top concern. 

  • Before crews leave for a shift, we do a walkthrough of the site to make sure the area is safe, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) national standards, for customers and our workers.
  • We are adding lights to the fences along the worksite to help you navigate around barriers.


Keeping an ear on the noise. Unfortunately, getting the job done on-time means there will be noisy times. Here’s what you need to know about the rules we follow and what we’re doing to minimize disruptions.


The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) reviews the contractor’s permits and approves the maximum noise level in accordance with the NYC Noise Code. NYCDEP has tested the worksite and found that it was in compliance with their policy, and plans to do follow up visits unannounced and in response to complaints.

We are also using technology to monitor the noise levels. Four monitoring sites have been set up along 14th St. If there are exceedances detected that result from L tunnel reconstruction project equipment, the contractor will review the equipment being used in that area and propose changes.

You will see us using large pieces of fabric called sound blankets around the jobsite to help absorb the noise, especially on stationary equipment along the fence lines where you’re walking. We have also installed sound barriers around pieces of equipment that are particularly noisy, which are installed on the inside of plywood around a machine.

When possible, we’re keeping noisy machinery as far away from where you walk and live as we can.

We are swapping out noisy equipment for more quiet equipment. For example, we have prioritized trucks with white noise backup alarms to minimize the disruption, and we have replaced two noisy generators with whisper-quiet generators.

Currently, the working hours are:


  • Weekdays: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and when possible, we’re limiting that last hour from 10 to 11 p.m. for clean up work that doesn’t require noisy machinery.
  • Weekends: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays.
  • During weekend work when the L is temporarily out of service from 11:30 p.m. on a Friday to 5 a.m. on a Monday, the crews will be working 24/7 underground in the tunnel. You may see street-level work during the daytime hours, but during the overnight hours, work will only be happening underground.


Containing the mess and mud. Construction is a messy business, but we’ve found ways to keep the mess in check. The contractor is expected to clean the areas around the construction barriers weekly and we are working with New York City Department of Sanitation to do additional cleanup work as necessary.

Air quality. There are no numerical federal, state or local standards for measuring air quality as it pertains to construction sites, however we have chosen to implement our own standard: we use a measurement called PM10 to actively monitor for and mitigate impacts on the air from dust. From the beginning of the job, we have set up monitors for PM10, which monitors for particles less than 10 microns such as dust and other particles like soil. Our reports show that we have had no exceedances over the limit for PM10, which is governed by the federal National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

To mitigate dust, we are:


  • Hosing down the worksite as well as areas around the perimeter of the worksite where dirt and dust can appear.
  • Putting air bags on machinery that could emit dust, so that if anything comes out of the machine, it is caught in the bag and removed.


We are also using electric equipment over diesel equipment where possible. For example, we installed new light towers that are running on electrical power, not diesel.

Opening up the lines of communication. Even though we’re doing our best, we know there could be issues that you see or hear before we do. The most direct way to get us your input is through this dedicated comment form:


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