FLOATING SUBWAY STATION?

May 23, 2018 at 4:45 am

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge flooded the Canarsie Tunnel under the East River, causing severe damage. The MTA will need to shut down the L train between Manhattan and Brooklyn for a projected 15 months beginning in April 2019 to make critical repairs. But how are the half a million L train commuters going to cope? A floating bridge that can carry buses, cyclists and pedestrians across the East River is the latest proposal that has been put forward to help mitigate the impact of the shutdown. We have an inside look at the pontoon bridge plan that might just help make the L-train shutdown manageable.

Aired on March 12, 2018. 

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>> THIS IS THE FIRST AVENUE
TRAIN STATION IN MANHATTAN.
AND IT WILL HAVE TO BE SHUT DOWN
SO CREWS CAN COME IN AND MAKE
REPAIRS TO DAMAGE CAUSED BY
HURRICANE SANDY.
WHEN IT DOES THAT, HUNDREDS OF
THOUSANDS OF COMMUTERS WILL HAVE
TO FIND A DIFFERENT WAY TO GET
IN AND OUT OF BROOKLYN AND
MANHATTAN.
THAT HAS MANY PEOPLE FLOATING
IDEAS ABOUT HOW TO GET ACROSS
THE EAST RIVER.
AND WHEN I SAY FLOATING, I MEAN
THAT LITERALLY.
THIS IS ONE OF THE IDEAS
PROPOSED ONCE THE L-TRAIN
SUSPENDS ITS SERVICE.
IT'S A PONTOON BRIDGE.
IT'S BEING PROPOSED BY PARKER
SHIN.
IT'S A LONG SHOT THIS WILL
ACTUALLY BE BUILT, BUT IT'S ONE
OF A COUPLE OF QUIRKY IDEAS PUT
FORWARD SO FAR, INCLUDING A
GONDOLA SERVICE, NAMED THE EAST
RIVER SKYWAY.
>> ANY AND EVERY IDEA IS WORTH
CONSIDERING, WHETHER IT'S
ADDITIONAL FERRY SERVICE,
PONTOON BRIDGE, SKYWAY,
GONDOLAS, RIGHT NOW THE CLOCK IS
TICKING.
>> HIS OFFICE WILL BE DIRECTLY
AFFECTED BY THE SUSPENSION NEXT
YEAR.
WORK HAS ALREADY BEGUN ON THE
BEDFORD AVENUE STATION.
IN HIS DISTRICT, COMMUTERS WILL
BE IN DESPERATE NEED OF A VIABLE
ALTERNATIVE.
>> HERE IN NEW YORK BROOKLYN,
THE L-TRAIN IS UNLIKE A LOT OF
SUBWAY LINES IN NEW YORK CITY,
UNLIKE DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN WHERE
YOU HAVE THE R AND THE AC AND
THE F, RIGHT?
THERE'S SO MANY DIFFERENT LINES
THAT YOU CAN TAKE INTO LOWER
MANHATTAN.
HERE IN WILLIAMSBURG YOU HAVE
THE L-TRAIN, AND MAYBE
HALF-MILE, THREE QUARTERS OF A
MILE SOUTH OF HERE YOU HAVE THE
JMZ LINE WHICH GOES OVER THE
WILLIAMSBURG BRIDGE, THEN YOU
HAVE TO GO UP TO LONG ISLAND
CITY.
THIS TAKES MANY, MANY, HUNDREDS
OF THOUSANDS OF NEW YORKERS FROM
BROOKLYN.
INTO MANHATTAN, 14th STREET
ACROSS MANHATTAN.
IT'S A LIFELINE FOR A LOT OF NEW
YORKERS TO GET THEM TO WORK.
>> SO FAR THE CITY AND STATE
HAVE PUT FORTH IDEAS THAT CLUE
ADDITIONAL TRAIN SERVICE AND BUS
LINES ACROSS THE WILLIAMSBURG
BRIDGE AND FOR HIGHER VEHICLES.
THAT LAST ONE WORRIES THE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF
ALTERNATIVES.
>> IF IT TAKES MORE THAN 20 OR
30 MINUTES THAN USUAL, PEOPLE
ARE GOING TO BE OPTING FOR
WHATEVER THEY CAN.
IT'S GOING TO BE EVERY COMMUTER
FOR THEMSELVES.
MORE PEOPLE TAKING UBERS.
THERE ARE EVEN COMPANIES
PLANNING ON OPERATING THEIR OWN,
SEPARATE, PRIVATE SHUTTLE
SERVICES.
THAT WOULD BE A DISASTER.
IF EVERYONE DEFECTS FROM THE
PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEM AND TRIES
THEIR OWN SOLUTION WE'RE GOING
TO HAVE WORSE GRIDLOCK.
>> THE LAST THING I WANT TO SEE
13 MONTHS FROM NOW IS THE STATE
SAYING THAT IT'S THE CITY'S
FAULT FOUR THE CATASTROPHE AND
THE CITY SAYING IT'S THE STATE'S
FAULT FOR THE CATASTROPHE.
WE JUST ALL NEED TO GET ON THE
SAME PAGE, MAKE A COLLABORATIVE
EFFORT HERE TO MAKE SURE THAT
WE'RE NOT LEAVING, YOU KNOW,
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF
COMMUTERS STRANDED.
>> THE CITY AND STATE HAVE HAD
TONS OF MEETINGS ABOUT THE
L-TRAIN SERVER.
AS FOR THE PRICE TAG, THIS IS
EXPECTED TO COST JUST UNDER $900
MILLION.
AT THE FIRST AVENUE TRAIN
ADMINISTRATION IN MANHATTAN,
"METROFOCUS."