Hurricane Sandy hammered the East Coast in 2012, and the Long Island Rail Road is still looking defeated.
Several rebuild projects are still not complete, even though New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) says it has already spent billions of dollars on repair.
The East River Tunnels were filled with 14 million gal of seawater during Hurricane Sandy but still sit untouched. The design is not expected to be completed until 2021, and construction will not begin until the East Side Access project is complete in 2022. The East Side Access job will create the extra capacity needed for the East River Tunnels repairs.
A flood wall is supposed to be constructed in the Long Island City Rail Yard. The job was originally slated for completion in 2017, but now will not begin until 2020.
Switch machines, signal components, third rail components, fire alarm systems and switch heaters also were supposed to be worked on in the West Side Yard near Penn Station. However, work will not start on that job until 2022.
The Long Island Railroad has focused its Sandy recovery efforts on the Long Beach line. There, three electrical substations were rebuilt and elevated, the Wreck Lead Bridge has been repaired and signal components have been restored.
MTA Chairman Patrick Foye is proud of the work MTA has done so far with the Long Island Rail Road, and he believes the agency has spent federal funds wisely.
However, state Sen. Todd Kaminsky says the MTA still has to prove itself when it comes to management. He also pointed to the importance of the East River Tunnels, saying those tunnels are “everything.”
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