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Battery recharge: Tunnel to half-close overnight for three years

Brooklyn Daily
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One of the two tubes that comprise the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel will be closed every night, and sometimes for entire weekends, until 2018 so crews can fix Hurricane Sandy damage, transit honchos announced on Tuesday.

A Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman stressed that traffic will run one lane in both directions throughout the closures, so motorists won’t be stranded.

“The most important thing for drivers to know is that they will always have one lane in and one lane out during these closures,” Judy Glave said.

The work is part of a $282.5 million repair job being carried out by Tully Construction Company, according to the transit agency.

The construction contract is the largest in the Authority’s history, according to agency president Jim Ferrara.

“Not only will this project restore and improve the tunnel, it will increase the level of resiliency against future weather events,” Ferrara said in a statement.

Starting on March 9 and lasting into 2018, one tube is set to close from 9:30 pm to 5:30 am, Monday through Friday, and at least one weekend each month from 9:30 pm on Friday until 5:30 am on Monday. In addition, workers are supposed to conduct maintenance on the closed tube each Sunday night from 11 pm to 5:30 am on Monday.

Glave said there is a possibility work will alternate between tubes, but the plan is to get to work on one tube, finish the repairs, then move onto the next.

The project is also supposed to beef up the tunnel’s defenses against future floods by installing drainage pumps in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and on Governors Island, and raising electrical controls.

Sixty million gallons of saltwater sloshed the tunnel during the 2012 superstorm, corroding wiring and destroying parts of the roadway and tunnel infrastructure, according to the Transportation Authority.

Restoration work is also set to include the replacement of the entire traffic control and communications, lighting, drainage pump, and fire line systems; repairs to concrete; installation of new light-emitting diode lights and emergency safety lights; replacement of tunnel wall tiles, ceiling finishes, catwalks and duct banks; rehabilitation of curbs and gutters; repaving the tunnel’s roadways; and a rehabilitation of the toll plaza on the Brooklyn side of the tunnel.

Funding for the project is coming from the $336 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency grant money for Sandy repairs at the Battery and Queens Midtown tunnels, and through the Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels’ Capital Budget Program.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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