NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – More than five months after superstorm Sandy decimated it, the South Ferry Station is set to reopen.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced the refurbished and repaired subway station will reopen at 5 a.m. Thursday morning for the first time since the storm hit on Oct. 29.
The old loop station will be in operation in time for the morning commute, while the newer terminal continues to undergo extensive repairs that could take three years.
“This is going to make it easier for thousands of commuters who now have a tough choice about how they get downtown,” Gene Russianoff with the Straphangers Campaign said.
As WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb reported, Russianoff praised the MTA’s Herculean effort to reopen the old station.
“It was a lot of work. This station had been decommissioned and they had to put in new fare control areas, bust open a wall, fix the escalator,” Russianoff told Lamb.
Russianoff said the bad news is now it seems there’s no rush to get the new station up and running anytime soon.
Passengers will only be able to board the first five cars because of the size of the old station.
The acting MTA chairman Fernando Ferrer and other MTA officials will greet customers at the station’s main entrance at 8 a.m. Thursday morning.
Bryant, 9, of Staten Island, told 1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr he was glad to hear about the South Ferry station reopening.
“Yes, yes, it’s good,” he said.
He gets up at 5 a.m. to catch the Staten Island ferry to Manhattan on his way to the Harlem Success School, where he is in third grade. And since Sandy closed the new South Ferry subway terminal, he and other commuters have had to walk to other subway stations in all types of weather.
“It’s been cold, rainy and snowy,” Bryant said.
The Federal Transit Administration reimbursed MTA New York City Transit for an initial $629,100 of recovery work at the new South Ferry station, which included pumping out water, removing debris, assessing damage and inspecting equipment.
“South Ferry was destroyed. It wasn’t hurt. It wasn’t wrecked. It was destroyed – from top to bottom,” former MTA chairman Joseph Lhota said in November.
Sandy wiped out the South Ferry subway station, and No. 1 trains have been terminating at Rector Street ever since.
For more information from the MTA, click here.