L train construction slowdown underway

NEW YORK (WABC) -- There's a commuter alert this weekend as service slowdowns kicked off Friday for riders of the L train.

The service changes are expected to cause a mess for people traveling between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The changes began at 8 p.m. but crowds on the platforms were not as large as anticipated on the first night.

L trains that run typically every five to six minutes will only run every 20 minutes.

The changes will be in effect every weekend and weekday night.

Extensive repair work will then begin on the aged and Superstorm Sandy-damaged East River Tunnel.

To help with the slowdown, the MTA is working on getting cars off of 14th Street during an 18-month period, allowing only buses, trucks, emergency vehicles and cars headed to parking decks and making drop-offs.

"It's going to be constant noise, constant honking and the streets were made in the 1830s and 40s," area resident Michael Friedman said. "It's going to be totally jammed up."

It's a move commuters aren't sure about.

"I do take the 14th Street bus a lot, so as a bus rider, yay, I'm happy," commuter Jamie O'Connor said. "But someone who drives in the city, oh, they won't be happy about that."

It's all about perspective, though, as this is when the complete L train shutdown was set to begin, before the governor scrapped that plan earlier this year.

Now, commuters just have to cope with a slowdown instead of a shutdown.

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