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With Montague tunnel repaired, full R train service returns Monday morning

R train service will be back to normal at 6 a.m. Monday, with the Montague tunnel re-opening after a year of repairs.

Montague tunnel repairs are complete, and normal R train service will resume Monday morning. Photo credit: Wendy Joan Biddlecombe Montague tunnel repairs are complete, and normal R train service will resume Monday morning. Photo credit: Wendy Joan Biddlecombe

R train service will be back to normal at 6 a.m. Monday, with the Montague tunnel re-opening after a year of repairs.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the end of construction Sunday afternoon at the Whitehall Street R station in lower Manhattan. Elected officials and MTA representatives also attended.

The nearly-100-year-old tunnel, which connect lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, were built in 1920 and severely damaged in 2012, when some 27 million gallons of water flooded the tracks during Superstorm Sandy.

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The tunnel shut down in August 2013 for a lengthy list of repairs and upgrades, which included engineering to limit flooding damage in the future. The project was previously set to complete in October 2014.

R train service was split during the shutdown, running from 95th Street in Bay Ridge to Court Street in Brooklyn, and from Whitehall Street to 71 Avenue in Forest Hills, Queens. Weekend trains were re-routed over the Manhattan Bridge and skipped stops in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, according to the MTA.

During his remarks, Cuomo thanked “our forefathers” for having the “vision” to dig the tunnels that run under the East River.

“The spirit of that vision is what makes New York what New York is," Cuomo said.“That they can build the system in the first place, we can re-build the system, and that will be our legacy.”

After Cuomo’s announcement, an R train took reporters and officials through the restored tunnel.

“This was an amazing job … it’s a great day for New Yorkers and all our customers, and we’ll be back tomorrow morning,” said NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco.

Bianco said about 65,000 riders travel through the Montague tunnel everday, and that the damage left by Sandy led to a nearly “total rebuild.”

The project cost $250 million, Bianco said, funded by the Federal Transit Administration. Improvements include 11,000 feet of new track, 30,000 feet of new concrete and duct banks, 75,000 feet of power cable and 200,000 feet of communication cable.

 
 
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