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Superstorm Sandy: Fix&Fortify Efforts Continue

Metro-North continues to restore infrastructure

Superstorm Sandy’s storm surge and floods caused extensive damage to Metro-North’s infrastructure.  Over 50% of the Hudson Line was flooded, while wind and tree damage impacted infrastructure system-wide.  Metro-North performed immediate repairs to vital infrastructure to restore rail service as quickly as possible to get the railroad and the region moving again. However, longer term repairs are required to restore the system to a state of good repair to ensure safety, service reliability and expected on time performance for Metro-North customers and the region.

Following Sandy’s destruction, Metro-North completed a system-wide damage assessment on the condition of the infrastructure. Brackish water from the Hudson Line damaged 3rd rail traction power substations and elements, communications and signal components, 30 miles of communications cables, Harlem River Lift Bridge power facilities and eroded significant areas of the Hudson River shoreline.  Latent damage from salt water infiltration has significantly reduced the useful life of power and communications and signal components. Electronic components that did not immediately fail are failing prematurely due to the exposure to salt water. This not only affects reliability, it affects the cost of maintaining the system. 

Metro-North developed projects and implementation strategies to restore infrastructure to pre-Sandy conditions and improve system resiliency against future natural disasters.    Metro-North has also established new design guidelines for all capital projects that outline how assets can be relocated, elevated, and/or protected in place to make infrastructure more resilient to flood damage.

$313 million in repair and restoration projects were identified for funding through the FTA’s Sandy Emergency Repair Program.  In addition to repairing what was damaged and ensuring all new infrastructure is more resilient, Metro-North will use an additional $56 million in resiliency funding to improve the agency’s ability to recover after a storm.  Resiliency projects include work to protect critical vulnerable power and signal infrastructure at substations, interlockings and yards and the purchase of specialized equipment to facilitate a swift response in emergency storm situations to maintain drainage structures and a stabilized shoreline. 

Sandy Restoration and Resiliency Program Overview

  • Rolling Stock Restoration:  $3.3 million
  • Right of Way Restoration$8 million
    • Tree removal
    • Shoreline restoration
  • Power – Replace 3 Hudson Line Substations:  $40 million
  • Power – Replace Harlem River Lift Bridge (HRLB) Facility Houses: $5 million
  • Power/C&S Infrastructure (30 miles from 145th Street to north of Croton Harmon) – Phases 1 and 2 (contains some resiliency funding):  $301 million  
  • Communications & Signal Equipment Repair:  $19 million
  • Power and Signals Resiliency Improvements:  $22 million
  • Special Equipment:  $6 million

Accomplishments include: 

  • Repaired all damaged rolling stock
  • Completed critical work to stabilize the Hudson River shoreline with additional shoreline work continuing, and ongoing tree removal in close proximity to the right-of-way to protect against future wind related damage.
  • Replaced damaged power Facility Houses under the Harlem River Lift Bridge.  
  • Began construction to replace three damaged Hudson Line substations (Riverdale, Tarrytown, Croton-Harmon); completion anticipated in early 2017.\
  • Awarded design-build contract in May 2015 for Phase 1 to restore power, communications and signal infrastructure for 16 miles of right-of-way that flooded with Sandy’s storm surge with completion anticipated summer 2017.  Phase 2 (14 miles) will follow.  Estimated total project cost of Phase 1 and 2 is $301 million.
  • Resiliency funds are being utilized to elevate and waterproof equipment (as feasible) on new platforms to better protect the repaired Hudson Line infrastructure
  • Continued ongoing replacement of damaged or failed communications and signal components throughout right-of-way.
  • Anticipate advertising a design contract for resiliency improvements to include perimeter protection, waterproofing and hardening of vulnerable equipment and water level monitoring and CCTV alarms at key locations in fall 2015.
  • Award contract for specialized equipment to improve storm preparation and response in fall 2015.

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