This project, which also will ensure time for other critical work such as continued post-Superstorm Sandy cleanup and security improvements, will require the closure of the World Trade Center and Exchange Place PATH stations up to 45 weekends, excluding major holidays, throughout the remainder of 2014 and possibly early 2015. Similar work and closures will be necessary on tunnels beneath the Hudson River serving PATH's uptown 33rd Street line in 2015.
The PTC improvements are part of a $580-million signals modernization program to replace PATH's mechanical train controls with computerized signals. PATH says in addition to replacing aging technology and making the system safer, this new signal system will ultimately improve service for riders by enabling more frequent service in the future.
This year's work also is essential for PATH to continue its remediation efforts on rails, tunnels and equipment due to ongoing deterioration from latent, corrosive salt residue from Superstorm Sandy. The storm's flooding of 15 million gallons of corrosive salt water in each of the PATH tunnels left behind a salt residue that could not entirely be cleaned during the efforts to restore service in the months after the storm. To remedy this issue, workers will power-wash the tunnels between World Trade Center and Exchange Place stations during the closures to remove corrosive salt. They also will also replace 90 percent of the utilities in the tunnels, including power and communications equipment, rail, third rail and track, all of which is corroding due to salt intrusion.