The Queens-bound lanes of the Midtown Tunnel will be closed on weeknights for three months so that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) can conduct repairs from damage sustained by Superstorm Sandy.
The closures began last night and will continue for 12 weeks on Mondays through Fridays, according to the MTA. One lane will remain open in each direction in the north tube usually reserved for Manhattan-bound traffic.
The lanes will be closed between 10:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. on Mondays through Thursdays. On Fridays, the closures will take place from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Saturdays.
During the storm, 40 percent of the the tunnel was submerged in 12 million gallons of salt water that badly damaged the infrastructure. The work includes replacing all of the major systems in the tunnel, including electrical, lighting, communications, monitoring and control systems.
In the next three months, the MTA will focus on power-washing, bulk debris removal and demolition of damaged elements, according to a spokeswoman for the agency.
Judlau Contracting Inc., the construction firm responsible for the repairs, will also install roadway LED lighting, clearly marked exit signs, lights and emergency phones to minimize the impact of another storm.
Repairs are being funded with a portion of the $336 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency grant money and the MTA Bridges and Tunnels’ Capital Budget Program.