Downtown Brooklyn

Manhattan-bound R coming by end of month

December 5, 2012 Denise Romano
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It will be a very happy new year for R train riders.

Charles Seaton, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, told this paper that the Montague Tunnel, which runs under the East River to connect the Court Street and Whitehall Street stations, will be cleared out “before the end of December.”

R-train service below 34th Street in Manhattan was restored to Whitehall Street on Monday, December 3, but riders from Brooklyn destined for Manhattan still have to make a transfer at either Atlantic Avenue/Pacific Street or at Jay Street/MetroTech for a line that is running under or over the river.

The storm surge from Hurricane Sandy completely flooded the Montague Tunnel with salt water, complicating the recovery process.

Straphangers had mixed feelings about the update.

Jose Iglesias lives in Fort Greene but is in the process of selling a home in Staten Island, therefore making a daily commute. Normally, he would catch an R train at Jay Street and take it to Whitehall Street to catch the ferry. Since Sandy hit, Iglesias has been forced to take an R train to 86th Street in Bay Ridge to get the S53 bus to take him to Staten Island.

“The wait has been long, but what can you do?” he said. “It’s part of nature; you can’t do anything about it. But I am glad to hear that it is coming back soon.”

John Eric works in Bay Ridge and takes the Manhattan-bound R often. He said the wait has been “too long. It’s a little overdue. They had enough time to fix [the equipment] and enough money in the budget. There should be no excuses,” he said.

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