MTA Press Releases

Press Release
December 9, 2016
Sandy-Related Repairs Coming to Clark St 2/3 Tunnel
Weekend Closures to Start Spring 2017

In order to make Sandy-related repairs, the subway tunnel that carries the 23 lines between Manhattan and Brooklyn under the East River will undergo weekend closures in both directions starting in spring 2017 to fix integral components heavily damaged during Superstorm Sandy.

To facilitate reconstruction of the Clark St Tube, no 2 or 3 service will be able to operate between Manhattan and Brooklyn on weekends when construction activity is underway.  This will result in temporary, long-term schedule and route adjustments on weekends on the 234 and 5 lines. 

The 1.2 mile-long tunnel, known as the Clark St Tube, was one of nine MTA New York City Transit subway tunnels flooded and damaged by an unprecedented storm surge during Sandy in October 2012. More than half a million gallons of corrosive salt water flooded the tunnel, damaging tracks, signals, pumping equipment, and electrical and switching equipment. Although temporary repairs immediately after the storm enabled a safe return to service, extensive reconstruction is required in the Clark St Tube to ensure that 2 and 3 line operations remain safe and viable. 

This critical work can be performed over 56 weekends and therefore will not affect regular weekday daytime service.  The proposed weekend service plan to facilitate reconstruction of the Clark St Tube was developed with the same “get in, get it done, get out” philosophy as other recent major construction projects.

“The Clark St project is the next phase in what is the most extensive reconstruction and fortification effort in the history of the New York City subway system,” said NYC Transit President Ronnie Hakim.  “This effort is well underway and we continue to face the challenge of performing these vital tasks as quickly and effectively as possible while minimizing the impact on our customers’ commutes.  We also aim to minimize the duration of the project and avoid customer confusion by providing the same service every weekend, when possible, throughout the entire project.”  

Allowing the worksite to be accessed predictably and consistently will reduce delays and contractor costs.  This plan also maintains the flexibility to provide additional service when it is needed to accommodate special events and other necessary weekend service changes for capital and maintenance work.

During the weekend work, 2 and 3 trains will terminate at alternate locations in Lower Manhattan. In order to provide alternate service to the greatest extent practicable while taking into account  the locations of track switches that allow trains to terminate and change directions, 2 trains would be rerouted via the 1 line south of Chambers St and would terminate at South Ferry. Because of capacity constraints at South Ferry, 3 trains will terminate at 14 St.

As a result of these service reroutes, there will be no 23 subway service available at the Park Place, Fulton St, Wall St, Clark St, Borough Hall, and Hoyt St stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn on weekends.  However, service on other lines will be available at stations that are a short walk from the affected stations.

To provide alternate service in Brooklyn on weekends, 4 service will be extended from Crown Heights-Utica Ave. to New Lots Av. to replace the 3.  In addition, 5 service will be extended from Bowling Green to Flatbush Av-Brooklyn College to replace the 2.  Both the 4 and 5 will operate as local service south of Nevins St.

The weekend service plan will also include a free out-of-system transfer between the Bowling Green 45 station and the 12r and n (late nights only) at the Whitehall St.-South Ferry station complex to facilitate travel between Brooklyn and the 7 Av and Broadway lines in Manhattan.

To improve operations and reduce the need for additional train crews, the northern terminals of the 2 and 5 in the Bronx will be swapped.  All 2 trains will operate via the Dyre Av line between Eastchester-Dyre Avenue and E. 180 St, and 5 trains will operate via the White Plains Road line between Wakefield-241 St and E. 180 St.

 Summary of Service Changes to Accommodate 23 Customers:

  • 4 service will be extended to New Lots Av to replace the 3 in Brooklyn;
  • 5 service will be extended to Flatbush Av-Brooklyn College to replace the 2 in Brooklyn;
  • For Service between Brooklyn and Manhattan, riders should use the 45nr
  • Free out of system transfer will be available between 12r and n (late nights only) at South Ferry and 45 at Bowling Green;
  • 12 riders may also transfer to the r and n (late nights only) at Whitehall St-South Ferry for service to Brooklyn;
  • No 23 subway service will be available at Park Place, Fulton St, Wall St, Clark St, Borough Hall, and Hoyt St. Customers at these stations should use nearby stations for alternate service;
    • Customers can use the 45 at Borough Hall and the 45acj at Fulton St
    • For Hoyt St: Use Nevins St 45, Borough Hall 45 or Jay St-MetroTech acfr
    • For Clark St: Use Borough Hall 45 or Court St r
    • For Wall St: Use Rector St 12, Wall St 45, Broad St j, or Rector St r

In addition to operating on Saturdays and Sundays, this service plan would operate overnight from Sunday night until 5 a.m. on Monday mornings.  Combined, all of these changes will affect approximately 205,000 riders on the average weekend, and average travel time will increase by about 4.5 minutes.  These schedule and route changes will be incorporated into schedules starting in June, however, work in the Clark Street Tube will start prior to June 2017 and require a few weekend service diversions before we implement the array of route revisions previously outlined.

The Clark Street Tube project is the seventh major tunnel restoration in the aftermath of Sandy. Repairs have been completed on the Montague r Tube, Greenpoint g Tube, and the Steinway 7 Tube, and work is ongoing in the Cranberry ac, Joralemon 45, and 53 St em Tubes.

For photos during Sandy and Sandy-related damage on MTA property, go to MTA’s Flickr page. Customers may visit and check out “The Weekender,” accessible by clicking “The Weekender” tab located within the Service Status Menu. The Weekender makes it easy for subway customers to visualize exactly how weekend work will affect subway service.