Following through on MTA Chairman Jay Walder's promise to expedite rebuilding the devastated line, work began last week on an on-the-ground assessment of damage from the storm and a final condition assessment report is expected by the end of the month.
AECOM of New York City began a conditions analysis of track and structures along 14 of the hardest hit miles of the right-of-way, as well as a hydrology study of the area. Their sub-consultant, Systra of New York City, is assessing all railroad communications and signal systems and M.G. McLaren of West Nyack, another sub-consultant, will assess damage to the rail bridges in the affected area. AECOM was issued a Notice to Proceed for emergency work, not-to exceed $500,000.
Significant damage to the line identified last week by an aerial inspection includes up to 40 washout locations including three washouts each at least a thousand feet long near Sloatsburg, a 400-foot section of track washed out just south of Sloatsburg, significant damage to several railroad bridges and exposure of what had been a subterranean signal cable.
Metro-North Railroad is studying its options to improve service during the long repair work ahead.