Through New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) initiatives, plans to permanently repair damage from Superstorm Sandy, flood-proof major sections of the subway system and begin the planning process to fortify the region's mass transit network are planned.
Additionally, service on the Rockaway line of the A train will resume May 30 after an all-out, six-month effort to rebuild 1,500 feet of washed-out tracks, replace miles of signal, power and communications wires and rehabilitate two stations that were completely flooded. The work included installing a corrugated marine steel sheet wall 30 feet into the soft soil of over two miles of the right-of-way along Jamaica Bay to protect the track against future washouts and ensure the line is ready to handle future coastal storms.
“Superstorm Sandy devastated the entire MTA network like no other storm, but the MTA did a remarkable job of restoring service following the storm and at the end of this month, the A line in the Rockaways will be up and running,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “The past six months have meant substantial cleanup and repair, leading to the rapid restoration of full service in all but the hardest-hit facilities.”
MTA New York City Transit has also established a new Sandy Recovery and Resiliency Division dedicated to launching, advancing and managing the rebuilding from Sandy, which will require years of construction and careful oversight of billions of dollars in federal aid. Plans will call for protecting stations, fan plants, under-river tubes, tunnels, ground-level tracks, signals, train shops and yards, traction power substations, circuit breaker houses, bus depots, train towers and public areas. The goal is to protect all points where the subway system could be flooded during a storm.
The Sandy Recovery and Resiliency Division will draw on experienced engineers, project managers, procurement specialists and other in-house staff as well as employees of approved contractors to manage the rebuilding effort.
The Division has issued 16 task orders to six qualified architectural and engineering design firms, which will design system repairs and study best practices from flood-proofing resiliency efforts around the world, investigate how they can be applied to the challenges of the New York City subway system and develop schematic designs for construction. Starting this summer, they will present the first of a series of plans to protect vulnerable subway stations, tunnels, storage yards and other equipment from future storms and coastal flooding. Additional firms are being solicited to support future design and construction activities.
The MTA has some $250 million in other Sandy repair and recovery projects already underway throughout the city transit and commuter rail network. While temporary repairs have kept most of the MTA network running, it will take years to design and implement permanent recovery measures.