Subway line shutdowns planned for work

November 14, 2011 3:09:42 PM PST
The MTA announced a new plan called the Transit's Line Segment Closure Program.

It will shut portions of the subway lines overnight for consecutive nights so that workers can go in and perform tasks without having to periodically stop while trains pass the work site.

The MTA says that finding adequate time to perform track and signal work remains a daunting challenge while running a system that operates 24/7.

Inspecting, repairing and replacing tracks, signals, power supply and infrastructure is necessary work vital to the safety our customers and employees, often requiring a series of service suspensions or slowdowns in order to be performed.

"We are one of the few transit systems that operate around the clock, so it's always a challenge to find time to do work on the tracks, especially with ridership up on weekends and overnight," said MTA New York City Transit President Tom Prendergast. "Closing segments of lines so that we can get in and get the work done quickly benefits everyone ? it's safer for workers, less disruptive for riders and gets projects done more quickly for everyone."

Performing work in this manner is expected to shorten the overall duration of projects, minimizing customer inconvenience and maximizing worker safety. Carefully planned, such closures would only be employed where alternate service is available.

Four lines running through the central business district have been identified for the line closures, which will take place over four consecutive weeknights between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The lines are the Eighth Ave (A,C,E), Seventh Ave (1,2,3), Sixth Ave (B,D,F,M) and Lexington Ave (4,5,6).

The initial pilot is planned for the week of January 9th, 2012 and involves the Lexington Ave. Line. During that period, service will be suspended between Grand Central/42nd Street and Atlantic Ave, while crews work on the tracks and signals and perform a thorough cleaning of the roadbed.

The 1, 2, 3 lines from 34th Street to Atlantic Avenue construction is set to take place from February 13th to the 17th.

The 6th Avenue Line with parts of the B, D, F and M from 59th Street to 4th Street will shutdown overnight in late February.

In mid-March, the A, C, E lines from 59th to Jay Street in Brooklyn will undergo work.

In addition to the line closures, similar closures for capital track work will also be piloted. This would mean closing a track segment on a continuous basis, rather than performing work in a piecemeal fashion over a longer period of time.

Closures for track capital track work typically takes place on nights and weekends, with trains traveling at slow speeds over the affected areas during daytime hours. Performing this type of work in this manner has caused multiple weeks of slow speed orders and nights and weekend work.

Comparing a conventional project with a capital shutdown would mean nine continuous days of shutdown compared with eight weekend and 20 weeknight shutdowns for a total of 36 days of work. Aside from lessening customer inconvenience, working this way is projected to generate a cost savings of $1.3 million.

Closing track segments for up to 24 hours a day for about 16 days will allow the completion of work and restoration of full service weeks sooner than part-time closures. Performing capital track work this way has the double benefit of shortening project duration while restoring full service for customers much sooner.

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