, 47 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
Solid turnout for the MTA board meeting on the L train
Light turnout on the MTA board on this short notice meeting
Lisa Daglian, @PCACriders, the MTA riders group, is the voice is skepticism on the L train repairs.

When it comes to the new L train repair designs, she's reminded of the old adage: “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
An NBC reporter hijacked the public testimony - where no questions are answered - for the MTA.

Gimme a break
This stunt is not going well
MTA announces that its construction chief Janno Lieber - the former WTC builder - will be responsible for construction

Meanwhile, MTA director Veronique Hakim will be responsible for supervising it

(I don't know what the distinction is, but asking)
Also, a new third-party consultant will report to the MTA board to "coordinate the construction with the ongoing train operation, and make sure the transition from construction to operation is seamless."
WSP exec Jerry Jannetti will present the L train repair proposal.

He and WSP came up with the old shutdown plan and the new repair proposal.

WSP's bridge expert Mike Abrahams here, along with L train contractor Judlau, with their director of health/safety/environment
Looks like NYC Transit President Andy Byford is getting sidelined from L train project
Looks like MTA's capital construction chief Janno Lieber will oversee the repair work, while MTA director Hakim will oversee the service/operations part.

MTA official says unclear who reports to who or whether Andy Byford objected to the new line of accountability.
Consultant WSP says new rail, tracks, resiliency work, accessibility, staying in the L train repair plan
Jannetti at WSP shows where cable racking system is used.

Unlike the 100yo L line tunnel, these are all new constructions built to spec
WSP had said that the cable racking system had been discussed and dismissed years ago, for fears of damaging the tunnel lining.


Now, WSP's Jannetti says it can handle it, because the new system requires 60% fewer bolts
Now, onto the polymer part of the L train repairs.

"It is a fairly well-used material here and other parts of the globe," WSP's Jannetti says.

It's used on 7 line extension, Second Ave. subway and on bridges.

Again, new construction - not rehab of an old, underwater tunnel
For silica dust from busting concrete, WSP's Jannetti says they'll hae to review options for controlling the dust and a third-party review of air quality
"I hope you'll indulge me, I have quite a few questions," MTA board's riders advocate Andrew Albert says.

First question: did you know about this tech three years ago?
WSP's Jannetti:

"We're very confident with the plan and in fact we wouldn't propose a plan we didn't think would be safe and durable."
Jannetti asked how long this L train fix will last, compared to rebuild that could last at least 80 years

Jannetti dodges:

"Longevity of course is hard to say in these harsh environments. If maintained this could last decades. this is a generational investment, not a Band-aid."
Question on federal funding goes to MTA Director Hakim:

“We still think this is a good Sandy recovery and resiliency project”
Judlau safety director Warren Goodman says that workers will clean up the silica dust as they go and at the end of the shift, on top of devices that capture the dust.

Judlau official says silica dust a factor in NYC projects
MTA board member Susan Metzger of Orange County:

"40 years is just not as long term as I'd like to think"

wants an L train repair plan that is longer lasting
Polly Trottenberg, MTA board member/city DOT chief, says:

“One of the big reasons they gave (for the L shutdown) was the silica”
Pat Foye interjects on silica dust discussion to say that only the weekend work will involve concrete demolition on weekends, not overnight
Andy Byford makes his first remarks this entire board meeting on the L train shutdown.

It's about adding "Wrench time" to work orders
Andy Byford:

"Typically, now we're getting at least 5 hours of wrench time which is a good amount of time to actually do the work."

Trottenberg does not agree that five hours of wrench time is sufficient
WSPs Jannetti, w/ a sigh, talks about the longevity of the L train fixes

"It's difficult for... us to say how long these some of these fixes will last.

As long as they're maintained... certainly they could hit the 50 years but really, its just hard to say b/c what will happen?"
Two MTA board members are unable to be here today because of back surgery.

But one, Andrew Saul, of Westchester, requested to call in.

He is questioning the contractors - the same firms that did the old plan are working on the new plan
MTA board member Charles Moerdler claims it's "fake news" that MTA passed on the cable racking system for the L train shutdown.

That's contrary to what Andy Byford said - that they did in fact pass on the concept originally
Larry Schwartz, ex Cuomo aide and MTA board member, expected the old L train shutdown to last more than the 15 months promised
Schwartz focusing on fact that averting the shutdown means avoiding the inconvenience to 275,000 riders a day

“A way has been come up - better late than never - that will not disrupt peoples lives and their quality of life.”
Carl Weisbrod, MTA board member and ex-city planner, now on the line, recovering from back surgery.

He wonders why MTA is using the same team after it gave bad advice on the L shutdown
Carl Weisbrod:

"We have that exact same team with very few other experts, now evaluating that very same decision and saying, 'oh our decision was wrong 5 years ago but now we think that this new approach is right.'"
Weisbrod: "It seems to me to have the same team being our validators now is a direct conflict of interest."
Weisbrod wants MTA management out of the role in picking an independent team to evaluate the L train repairs, report directly to the board
Weisbrod clearly slighted with how MTA management treats its board members

Now, Weisbrod wants a private meeting without influence of MTA brass to go thru the L train plans
WSP's Mike Abrahams states what former MTA officials have expected:

“(New L train repair plan) is not as advantageous as a complete replacement, that is true."
Lot of confusion here at the MTA board on the new L train repair plan

Polly Trottenberg: “Is the decision made? Do we have any actual role here?”
acting MTA chairman Freddy Ferrer: "you vote whichever way you like."

Polly Trottenberg: "You think in the end, it will be the board's decision?

Ferrer: "That's what I'm saying"
Polly Trottenberg asks if MTA lit on 'L train averted' material should come with an asterisk saying, "pending board approval."

Ferrer cuts his own mic to answer, but unclear what he said.

"If you're for inconveniencing 275,000 people, say so. If you're not, that's OK too."
Andy Byford trying to rouse some sentiment for the MTA, saying it's the same management team that brought transit back after 9/11, after Sandy and all the other damaged tunnels they rebuilt
The polymer coating on the crumbling bench wall will be a quarter to half-inch thick.

"That's not very much," MTA board member Norm Brown, a machinist, says.

WSP's Mike Abrahams says the polymer is flammable:

“It will melt and it will give off fumes.”
This is getting ridiculous.

Pat Foye asks if NYT headline today is true - that MTA passed on the cable racking plan.

They did - Andy Byford and former MTA officials said as much.

Whatever WSP's Jannetti thinks of accuracy is just semantics
Weight of cables hanging from the L line's tunnel walls is 7lbs for power cables and 2lbs for other types of cables.
The L train MTA board meeting ends after three hours.

Now, the press gets its chance to ask questions
acting MTA Chairman Ferrer says,
“Not there yet on when the contracts will be coming before the board because we haven't concluded renegotiations.”
Why was Andy Byford sidelined from the L project? (Note: acting MTA chairman doesn't agree with my word "sidelined")

“I asked Capital Construction to do it because it brings more technical resources to the table” and that Byford has his hands full running NYCT, Ferrer says
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