Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Montague Tunnel reopens

Late Sunday night, the Montague Street tunnel which carries R (and late night N) trains between Downtown Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, reopened after a little over 13 months due to a massive undertaking of repairs as a result from the extraordinary damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  The work was so extensive and unprecedented, it took coordination of 2 contracts and multiple units within Rapid Transit Operations (RTO) such as signals, track, pump rooms, etc.

I took a round trip through the Montague Street tube, the above ground street on the Brooklyn side of the East River where R trains run underneath.  The ride from Whitehall Street in Manhattan to Court Street in Brooklyn was nice with decent speed and brand new equipment in the tunnel.  I also noticed the tunnel patches (areas where it looks "bleachy") where the work was done to repair the severly damaged tunnel.  At the Court Street station, brand new lighting on the station platform was present along with a new platform floor and ADA tactile warning strips (the yellow "bumps" as the edge of the platform).

Hopefully the next train indicator will come down soon.  On the other hand, it might come useful again.

The wall on the Bay Ridge/Coney Island bound side shows salt water and dirt.
Train operators must "punch"
The ride from Court Street back to Whitehall was slow - - virtually all timers straight to a switch where a track branches off to Broad Street on the J and Z lines.  However the Montague tube was always been the slowest underwater tunnel in NYC in terms of train speeds, so it really makes no difference anyway.

The job done by NYC Transit was an outstanding effort - - I also didn't have time to take notice whether they addressed serious water corrosion at the Whitehall staircases at the south end - - they had really BAD leaks and dirt in the area where the artwork is displayed.  I will revisit this area soon.  The scope of the work done by NYC Transit in restoring the Montague tube to a nearly brand new state shows that they can perform great work - - if they can apply to same impeccability to the way they communicate to their customers as well as their website information - - then they would be truly a first class transportation network.

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