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Will the L Train Shutdown Go as Planned? We Checked the MTA's Record

 The Canarsie Tunnel flooded during Hurricane Sandy and needs to be repaired, according to the MTA.
The Canarsie Tunnel flooded during Hurricane Sandy and needs to be repaired, according to the MTA.
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MTA

NEW YORK CITY — The MTA has said repairs to the Canarsie Tubes will shut down Brooklyn-to-Manhattan service on the L train completely for 18 months, or drastically reduce service for three years — but what are the chances it will end up being longer than that?

To give you an idea of how the MTA has fared on other major rehabilitation projects, DNAinfo New York has rounded up a list of completed and in-progress construction projects and took a look at how original estimates compared with the end result.

More often than not, the MTA managed to complete major rehabilitation projects on time — occasionally even finishing ahead of schedule, as in the case of the R train's Montague Tube.

But in other cases, such as the infamous Culver Viaduct project, work dragged on well past the MTA's deadline.

Here's a look at what the MTA has said about the Canarsie Tube project and a look back at some other work from MTA's past:

►See Also: Here Are the Two Plans the MTA is considering for the Canarsie Tubes work

►See Also: DNAinfo Readers Prefer a Full L-Train Shutdown

Canarsie Tubes reconstruction
MTA’s timeline: Work set to begin in 2019, and will last either 18 months or three years.
Estimated cost: Between $800 million and $1 billion

Both options might seem devastating for the 300,000 L train riders, and residents and businesses that rely on the line, but in a DNAinfo survey, commuters said they'd prefer a shorter period of disruption even if it means a total lack of service.

Completed projects:

Cortlandt Street R station rehabilitation
MTA's timeline: Open by 2011
Final timeline: 2005 to September 2011
Cost: $27.25 million

Like the nearby 1-train station of the same name, the Cortlandt Street R station was heavily damaged on Sept. 11, 2001. It remained closed for a year, reopened in 2002, and closed again in 2005 for repairs.

The MTA reopened the station’s northbound platform in November 2009 and reopened the southbound platform in 2011.

Greenpoint Tube (G train)
MTA's timeline: July 2013 to Fall 2014
Final timeline: July 2013 to Sept. 2, 2014 
Original estimated cost: $93 million
Final construction cost: $80 million

The G train tube between Greenpoint and Long Island City was closed for 10 days after Hurricane Sandy sent 3 million gallons of saltwater into the tunnel. The work, which included the retrieval and replacement of damaged tunnel equipment, was restricted to weekends, along with a 5-week total shutdown between Greenpoint and Queens in the summer of 2014.

Montague Tube (R train): 
MTA's timeline: August 2013 to October 2014
Opened to the public: August 2013 to September 2014
Original estimated cost: $308 million
Final construction cost: $259 million

The Montague Tube, which carries the R train between Manhattan and Brooklyn, was flooded with 27 million gallons of saltwater and remained closed for 53 days after Hurricane Sandy.

The MTA shut down the tunnel in August 2013, with R trains running in two sections on either side of the tunnel. A year later, service resumed in the tube on Sept. 15, a month ahead of schedule of the initial October reopen date.

Steinway Tube (7 train):
MTA's timeline: October 2013 to Spring 2016
Final timeline: October 2013 to April 2016
Final construction cost: $29 million

Work on the Steinway Tube, which carries the 7 train between Manhattan and Queens and was also flooded during Hurricane Sandy, wrapped up on-schedule this spring.

Projects that are still in progress:

Culver Viaduct rehabilitation project:
MTA's timeline: 2009 to 2013
Current estimated timeline: 2009 to late 2016 or early 2017 
Original estimated cost: $275.5 million
Final construction cost: $325 million

The MTA first announced in 2007 that it would embark on a major renovation project on the Culver Viaduct, the elevated superstructure carrying F and G trains between Carroll Street and Seventh Avenue in Park Slope.

Station work at Smith-Ninth Street closed the stop from June 20, 2011 through April 18, 2013.

In the nine years since the project was announced the completion date has been pushed back again and again, and the budget ballooned by tens of millions of dollars.