L train repairs could last 7 years

- On any given weekday, the L train carries 225,000 commuters through the Canarsie tubes connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan. For neighborhoods from Williamsburg to Bushwick in Brooklyn the L is the lifeline.

So what's the problem? The Canarsie tubes were heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Nearly 7 million gallons of sea water ate away at the metal and other infrastructure. And now it needs to be fixed.

After a recent meeting with MTA officials, Councilman Stephen Levin says the worst-case scenario -- limiting service on nights and weekends for repairs -- might be even more troubling than originally suggested. He says the MTA suggested repairs could take 5 to 7 years if the work is done on either weekends or nights and weekends.

Another plan would be to completely shut things down. Repairs could take 2 years or less. But that has obvious drawbacks. No matter what, repairs will take a long time, Levin says, because the work is massive.

$700 million in federal funding is available for the repairs now, so the clock is ticking.

The MTA says nothing is finalized and will do what it can to find service options for commuters when the time comes.

Still, some people are making their own plans.

The project likely won't start until at least 2018.

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