OHL is proud to announce that its New York based subsidiary, Judlau Contracting, Inc., has completed the rehabilitation of the Canarsie (L line) Tunnel three months ahead of an already aggressive schedule.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made this historic announcement on April 26, 2020 during his daily news briefing on the Covid-19 pandemic. Judlau’s monumental achievement, even more impressive with the added unprecedented challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, has already received extensive coverage in the U.S. media. In addition to the Canarsie project, despite the pandemic, OHL North America continues to operate its projects seamlessly in the U.S. market.
The Canarsie Tunnel, under the East River in New York, had been damaged by Superstorm Sandy, and its rehabilitation was one of the most critical tasks underway in the city. In Spring 2017, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) awarded a contract to Judlau and its joint venture partner to work on the rehabilitation of the tunnel. The contract originally planned for a complete tunnel shutdown for 15 months, to enable 24/7 construction. This would have had a significant adverse impact on the city and the 400,000 average weekday customers traveling on the L train between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
In January 2019, Governor Cuomo revised the original plan and transformed the scope, by introducing a new approach that kept the train running at full capacity during business hours and at reduced capacity during nights and weekends. Judlau’s project team had to immediately rethink, retool and rework, in order to deliver the project in a completely different manner from the original plan.
Under the new plan, Judlau’s schedule called for the completion of the tunnel rehabilitation within a 15-18 month period. However, by working diligently, creatively and tirelessly, in partnership with its client, the MTA, Judlau reached this milestone three months early, thereby enabling the L train service to be restored to its original service on April 27, 2020.
The new plan called for leaving the concrete duct bank in place and stabilizing it using a Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Panel. New fire-resistant armored cables were installed on a stainless-steel cable management system mounted to the tunnel wall. By securing the duct bank with FRP panels and installing the cables on the wall, the concrete demolition work within the tunnel was reduced. With respect to the trackwork, the revised scope called for a tie replacement rather than a full track replacement. This allowed for the tunnel to be back into service each weekday morning, thereby ensuring passenger service.
While the major milestone has been reached, Judlau is continuing to make station and accessibility improvements, including platform modifications, installation of elevators and stairs at stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. When the project is completed later this year, not only will the tunnel be hardened against future flooding, but the upgraded stations will improve the neighborhoods and quality of life for the riding public.
OHL’s success in delivering the Canarsie tunnel project demonstrates yet again the importance of transportation infrastructure in creating economic impact. As infrastructure investments are expected to expand in the U.S. market, OHL looks forward to enhancing its presence as a pre-eminent contractor in the months and years ahead.
Cannarsie tunnel. Photo Courtesy of MTA C&D – Trent Reeves.