MTA New York City Transit will commence Fix&Fortify work to the Montague Tubes beginning Friday, August 2 at 11:30 p.m. and lasting for 14 months. The MTA is well into the most extensive and wide-ranging reconstruction effort in its history after Superstorm Sandy decimated the subway system last fall.
Funding for Fix&Fortify has been secured through the efforts of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The project is designed to restore and rebuild damaged infrastructure while reducing the subway system’s vulnerability in the event of future severe weather events. Overall, the MTA has been allocated nearly $3.8 billion in funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for repair, resiliency, and disaster relief work for New York City Transit, Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road, and other MTA divisions. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has also allocated $3 million for MTA Bridges and Tunnels.
“The job that we have ahead of us is an enormous challenge and we are grateful for the support that we have received from Governor Cuomo and the Federal Government in securing the funds necessary to perform these vital tasks,” said Thomas F. Prendergast, Chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “These investments in repairing and reinforcing the system’s infrastructure will help safeguard the most vulnerable areas of our subway system for decades to come.”
“The FTA continues to support New York’s ongoing recovery efforts following the greatest transit disaster in our nation’s history. To date, we have allocated more than $5.5 billion dollars in emergency relief funds to reimburse MTA and other affected transit agencies, and we stand ready to provide additional funding to strengthen transit infrastructure and protect against future disasters,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “This vital work on the Montague Tubes is necessary to make permanent repairs to the tunnel and ensure safe and reliable service for thousands of daily commuters between Brooklyn and Manhattan.”
The Greenpoint and Montague Tubes suffered extensive damage during the storm, when they were flooded with salt water along with seven other interborough subway tubes. While the MTA worked tirelessly to restore service as quickly as possible after the storm, it was immediately clear that future, more extensive work would be necessary.
The scope of work for the Montague Tubes is extensive, amounting to a near rebuilding of the link which connects Downtown Brooklyn with Lower Manhattan. The work will be completed in two contracts. The first; repair of all right-of-way components except signals. The second; repair of signal equipment. Work for both contracts will occur while the tube is shut down for a period of 14 months. Work on the Montague Tubes is estimated to cost $308.6 million in total, with $220.6 million invested in the right-of-way component repairs.
“Our goal is to complete this work as quickly and efficiently as possible while exposing our customers to as little inconvenience as we possibly can,” said Acting NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco. “To that end, we are providing an extraordinary amount of customer information to help our riders get around the gaps in service.”
The customer information campaign for these projects include posters onboard trains and in stations, handy brochures and a web and poster-based effort to keep riders informed of the type and amount of work that has been completed.
The right-of-way component repairs inside the Montague Tubes include significant work to tracks, tunnel lighting, circuit breaker houses, power substations, pump rooms, fan plant, power cable and ducts. The estimated cost for signal repairs and modification is $39.6 million. This work includes the modification of signal circuits at three nearby stations (Whitehall Street and Broad Street in Manhattan, as well as Brooklyn’s Court Street Station to allow for their temporary conversion into terminal stations in order to support train operation during the tube’s shutdown. Signal repair work in the tubes will see the replacement of damaged signal components.
On Friday night, the last Brooklyn-bound train is scheduled to depart Whitehall St at approximately 11:33 p.m. The last Manhattan-bound train is scheduled to leave Court St at approximately 11:32 p.m.
Work on the Greenpoint Tube has been underway for three weekends and will continue over another nine weekends this year, though they will not be consecutive. Additionally, a five-weekend shutdown is planned for 2014.
The northernmost three stops, Greenpoint Av, 21 St and Court Square, are closed during these weekends with service replaced by two shuttle bus routes linking the Nassau Av station on the Line with Court Sq and another from the Lorimer St station to Court Sq.
In the Greenpoint Tube alone, workers began the replacement of thousands of feet of tunnel components, including tracks, track support components, the tunnel lighting system, power equipment, and the tube’s signaling system. Bounded by 21 St station and the Greenpoint Av station, track work includes replacement of 1,200 linear feet of rails, plates and tie blocks.
Tunnel lighting is being renewed and improved along approximately 1.8 miles of track. The new lighting will conform to the latest Federal and Transit Lighting Standards and will also include the installation of a four-hour battery back-up system.
The Montague and Greenpoint Tubes will also benefit from duct bank and cable replacement, including the cleaning of ducts and the replacement of power and communication cables. The opportunity will be taken to remove some signal system components outside the flood zones within the tubes.
In addition to the work inside the Montague and Greenpoint Tubes, the MTA’s Fix&Fortify campaign will also address issues in other under river tubes. Planning and design work is also underway for flood mitigation at NYC Transit facilities in low-lying areas of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens as well as similar flood prevention and mitigation work at the entrances to several stations in Lower Manhattan.
Online updates on the Montague work will be available at: http://web.mta.info/nyct/service/R_14monthMontagueTunnelClosure.htm.
Updates on the Greenpoint work will be available at: http://web.mta.info/nyct/service/G_GreenpointTunnelWeekendClosure.htm