NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s post-Sept. 11 system-wide security upgrades will take until 2017, nine years longer, partly because of damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.
That’s according to an audit by the state comptroller’s office released Wednesday. It says the delay will cost at least $700 million more than originally projected.
“Superstorm Sandy dealt the MTA’s security plans a serious setback,” State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement. “Although the MTA has made important security improvements, the first phase of its capital program is still not finished, more than 12 years after September 11, 2001.”
The report says the biggest delay in the now $1.3 billion capital security initiative involves installing 3,000 surveillance cameras and 1,400 access-control devices in stations and tunnels.
MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg said the agency had a couple of delays, but that most of the system is up and running.
“After Superstorm Sandy came through, a lot of the forces that were supposed to be devoted to making sure we could wire the tunnels, install cameras and things like that, they ended up being diverted just to get Superstorm Sandy repairs done,” Lisberg told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams.
MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz told 1010 WINS the report doesn’t paint the entire picture because it mixes post-9/11 security upgrades with Sandy-related improvements.
“It’s two separate things and in essence, what the comptroller is doing here is lumping in some remedial Sandy work that we need to do to some of our security systems that won’t be completed until 2017,” he said.
The audit also blames the delay to reductions in federal funding and the MTA expanding its security plan to include more facilities.
Ortiz said security cameras will be installed by 2015.
To read the full audit, click here.
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