MTA Announces Superstorm Sandy Recovery and Resiliency Progress 5 Years After Storm

As the fifth anniversary of Sandy approaches, the MTA announced the system is better protected than at any other point in its history.
As the fifth anniversary of Sandy approaches, the MTA announced the system is better protected than at any other point in its history.

Permanent or temporary storm surge protections are ready at locations identified as vulnerable to storm surges after Superstorm Sandy, leading to an unprecedented level of protection against the next major storm, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced on the fifth anniversary of the storm. 

“The MTA network is better protected against storm surge flooding than it ever has been at any point in its history,” said MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota. “Vulnerable sites have permanent or temporary solutions ready, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done – in some cases inventing new devices – to keep New Yorkers and their transit system safe.”

B-roll of system protections installed since Superstorm Sandy is available here:



Photos of system damage and restoration are available here.

Throughout the system, crews have spent the last five years implementing a plan to repair and fortify the MTA network, hardening and waterproofing infrastructure and raising equipment to higher elevations to prevent damage. They have installed marine-grade equipment and seal-tight doors in underground systems, and flood protection measures are in place at maintenance yards and depots.

Examples of the type of work that’s completed or underway include:

  • This year the MTA reopened the South Ferry 1 Subway Station, which was destroyed by Sandy, complete with surge-proof marine doors.
  • The tunnels that carry the A SubwayC Subway, R Subway and 7 Subway lines under the East River have been repaired and made more resilient against storm surge flooding, as has the tunnel that carries the G Subway between Brooklyn and Queens under Newtown Creek. Repair and strengthening of the tunnels that carry the E SubwayM Subway and 4 Subway5 Subway lines under the East River will be finished this year.
  • The MTA has completed the rehabilitation of the Staten Island Railway’s St. George Terminal.
  • MTA Bridges and Tunnels has installed four giant, two-foot thick, 44,600-pound flood-blocking doors at entrances to the Queens Midtown Tunnel and Hugh Carey Tunnel. The doors are 29 feet long and 14 feet high. The remaining four doors will be put into place by the end of the year. The tunnels are also undergoing a complete reconstruction of tunnel electrical, lighting, communications and pumping systems, and replacement of the tunnel wall tiles, ceiling panels, catwalks, curbs and gutters. This work is in its final stages and completion is slated for next year.
  • MTA New York City Transit has completed installation of permanent flood prevention devices such as marine doors, flood logs, and flood curtains at 48 subway entrances. This includes movable marine doors that can seal off subway entrances like those at South Ferry and Whitehall Street.
  • The approximately 3,500 vulnerable points of water entry for the New York City subway system have received either permanent or temporary custom-made protections – the plan includes 24 marine doors, such as those used on submarines, weighing 3,000 pounds each; 2,300 waterproof gates deployed underneath sidewalk grates for station vents; 1,700 portable vent covers; and 68 flexible stairwell covers that can withstand up to 14 feet of water
  • New York City Transit crews have installed sheet pile walls along the tracks of the A Subway train to the Rockaways that extend 30 feet below ground and 10 feet above ground to protect from storm surge.


Earlier this year the MTA released a report on preparations for sea level rise, storm surges and other climate-related dangers. Information about that report can be found here.