It’s looking like the L train closure apocalypse we’ve been covering for months is getting a little bit better. MTA officials believe they will be awarding a contract to a construction firm that will complete the work in 15 months instead of the planned 18.
In a press release, the MTA noted that “contractual provisions were included to expedite demolition, encourage acceleration of the tunnel work, deter delays, enable traffic mitigation work, and the testing and commissioning of systems.”
The firm that has tentatively been awarded the contract, Judlau Contracting Inc., has familiarity with large-scale projects like this for the MTA, including the R train’s Montague tunnel reconstruction, which was completed ahead of schedule.
But as amNY reports, some officials are still worried because Judlau has black marks on its record. Most recently, they were the firm responsible for delays on the infamous Second Avenue Subway. The project just barely met its December 31, 2016 deadline.
The MTA contract also includes a provision that will leverage a $410,000 fine against Judlau for every day construction stretches past the July 2020 completion date, Stephen Plochochi, vice president for procurement and materiel at the MTA told amNY.
Regardless of how long construction ends up taking, commuting into Manhattan will be a nightmare since both tunnels shuttling L trains under the East River will be closed for a major overhaul after Superstorm Sandy ravaged them with salt water.