The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that crews have completed permanent repairs of a 110-year-old culvert in Dobbs Ferry and the track structure on it that was washed out by heavy rain and high winds from Tropical Storm Ida.
The completion of the emergency culvert replacement enables Metro-North to cut Hudson Line travel times through the area by up to five minutes on March 27 in conjunction with the new timetables that increase Metro-North service systemwide to 89% of pre-pandemic levels.
“Metro-North forces worked closely with the C & D contractor, restoring the track infrastructure as the project progressed across all four tracks,” said Metro-North President Cathy Rinaldi. “Today, Metro-North trains can operate at full speed over the culvert allowing us to cut five minutes from Hudson Line travel times. Having all four tracks back in service also gives Metro-North more flexibility to navigate through any potential problems.”
“Following the washout last fall, our Construction and Development team cleared trees and debris and addressed flooding conditions at multiple spots so we could restore service through Westchester County and the Bronx. They were able to quickly restore two tracks over the culvert in Dobbs Ferry, and then focus attention on a permanent fix,” said MTA Construction & Development President Jaime Torres-Springer. “Always aware of the impact the storm had to customers, the team worked tirelessly to bring the culvert back to operation before handing it off to Metro-North forces to complete the final steps.”
MTA Construction & Development actively managed the team of contractors and consultants who replaced the 110-year-old culvert in its entirety, where Wickers Creek drains into the Hudson, which serves as an emergency overflow drain during times of extraordinarily high rainwater events. All the work was undertaken while trains continued to travel over the culvert under slow speed restrictions. Following the completion of this work in early March, Metro-North Railroad’s track crews installed rails, ties and ballast, which was followed by surfacing the entire track area. They installed and tested the third rail and ensured all signal systems and Positive Train Control (PTC) were working flawlessly.
The announcement brings an end to delays that began Sept. 1, 2021, when Tropical Storm Ida unleashed torrential downpours on the region. Metro-North implemented a new schedule on the Hudson Line on Sept. 20 to accommodate the culvert repair work and reduced line capacity.
On March 27, in conjunction with the schedule increases, Metro-North will remove the additional schedule time added in September to trains traversing the area.