Nov 272012

[UPDATE] 12/5/12 Despite an announcement last week that estimated direct R-train service to Manhattan would return by mid December, the MTA is now saying restoration of the Montague Street Tunnel will take until the end of the year. Read More About R-train Restoration Here

As the loss of R-train service to Manhattan passes the four week mark, MTA officials are assuring Bay Ridge riders that the Montague Street Tunnel connection, which was flooded during Hurricane Sandy, will be back up and running in about seven to fourteen days, Daily News reporter Pete Donahue wrote yesterday afternoon.

The Montague Street Tunnel travels under the East River connecting Brooklyn’s 4th Ave Local with Manhattan’s Broadway Local. There has been no direct R-Train service between Jay Street in Brooklyn and 34th Street in Manhattan in the weeks since a surge of water flooded the tunnel as Superstorm Sandy bore down on New York City.

According to the News, the MTA will restore the R-train in two steps: first by extending service from midtown to Rector St. In a second phase, they will once again begin running trains under the East River through the Montague St. Tunnel.

Whitehall Street, the first stop in Manhattan for Bay Ridge commuters, may take longer to open due to damage retained by the station’s escalators and elevators when they were completely submerged in sea water.

“That is the highest priority, getting that done,” NYC Transit President Thomas Prendergast said.

As Bay Ridge Odyssey had previously reported, salt water entered the tunnel during the storm through a ventilation shaft near the Manhattan waterfront. Floodwater filled the tunnel all the way to the Brooklyn side, just 500 feet shy of the Court Street station.

In Sandy’s aftermath, tunnels were pumped out based on the speed with which they could be drained and repaired, the number of passengers each line carried, and the alternate transit options available to those riders.

As the tunnel that experienced the worst flooding system wide – with extensive damage to signals and electrical wires from saltwater, Montague Street will be the last of the interborough subway connections to be restored.

We’d like to know what you think.

Are you satisfied with the pace of service restoration being prioritized based on criteria such as the extant of damage and number of riders served by each line? Or are you simply fed up?

Feel free to let the world know in the comments below.