MTA explores options for L train tunnel repairs

Imagine not being able to take the L train in Manhattan for more than a year. It sounds rough but that is what could happen if the MTA decides on a full shutdown of the L train's East River tunnel while crews make repairs.

Closing both tracks is only one of the options on the table. The upside is it would speed up the work the MTA has to do to repair damage from Superstorm Sandy by getting it all over with at once instead of piece by piece. The downside is it would cut off a main crosstown route for hundreds of thousands of commuters.

The MTA said it is "committed to meet regularly with residents, businesses and others affected by the Canarsie Tube work, as well as to consult with elected officials before making any decisions about the construction process and service alternatives."

Another possible plan is to maintain limited L train service at the line's five Manhattan stops going along 14th Street.