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Fix&Fortify Sandy Recovery Work

About the Damage

Superstorm Sandy was the most destructive storm ever to hit the New York City subway system, causing an incredible amount of damage within the space of just a few hours. The storm surge pushed millions of gallons of water into the most vulnerable areas of the system, including nine under river tubes relied upon by millions of subway commuters who travel between boroughs daily.

In order to restore service as quickly as possible while still maintaining safety, temporary repairs were made to these vital tunnels. Components were cleaned, inspected and approved for service, but given the extent of the damage caused by lengthy periods of submersion in brackish water, their useful lifespan was shortened, leading to an increased number of failures and delays.

Sandy’s damage to the system was historic. The Greenpoint Tube, which connects Long Island City with the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, was flooded with 3 million gallons of salt water at the height of the storm. Tracks and equipment were totally submerged, and the tunnel’s pump controls, electrical, communications, fan control and signal equipment all incurred serious damage. Power cables that were immersed in salt water are corroding from the inside, while corrosion on the outside of rails and fasteners raised the potential for short circuits. The controls for ventilation, lighting, and communication systems were destroyed and are being restored to their pre-Sandy condition.

To address the damage that was caused, as well as to make the system more resilient, MTA New York City Transit identified the Greenpoint Tube as the initial focus for Fix & Fortify efforts. Photographs of the extensive damage to parts and components in these tubes tell the story of the effects caused by corrosive salt water.

Fix & Fortify work is repairing the under river tubes and the delicate equipment that was submerged, while reinforcing the system to make it less vulnerable to future severe weather events.

Work commenced in the G Line icon Line’s Greenpoint Tube with a 12-weekend effort in 2013, The northernmost three stops, Greenpoint Av, 21 St and Court Square, were closed during these weekends with service replaced by a shuttle bus linking the closed stops. By doing so for twelve weekends, over the course of six months, we were able to get work done more efficiently when ridership is the lightest. See what we accomplished

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