The R train will receive the green light at 6 a.m. Monday, WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast participated in a test drive on the new tracks Sunday, making sure the signals worked.
“And we didn’t just fix everything that was damaged for Sandy, which was pretty much everything. We built it back better,” said Prendergast.
Commuters have been patiently waiting for the completion of the repairs after the Montague Street Tunnel, under the East River, sat in saltwater for days after Sandy hit in October 2012, corroding tracks and signals.
Sandy poured an estimated 27 million gallons of salt water into a 4,000-foot stretch of tunnel, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
The tube, however, wasn’t shut down for repairs until August 2013.
“Replaced two miles of track, 37 miles of communication cable and 14 miles of power cable,” Prendergast said of the improvements.
Officials said the project came in under budget by $30 million and is going to be up and running a month before they initially planned.
“That was the first time ever we have done a complete replacement of a tunnel duct bank,” said Prendergast.
The duct bank is where all of the wires for the signals, lights and power lines run, but officials didn’t just replace those things, they upgraded the tunnel so it can better withstand another storm, Kramer reported.
“Our generational challenge is taking that system, making it more resilient, fortified for a weather pattern never anticipated before,” Cuomo told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Kevin Rincon.
“In terms of rebuilt newer and stronger we put in doors that are basically water tight to keep water from entering that signal room and damaging relays like it did last time,” Prendergast said.
As part of its resiliency program, the MTA is trying to figure out how to fill more than 500 openings in Lower Manhattan alone, Kramer reported. That includes stairs and grates and other places where water can infiltrate the system, so that when the next big storm hits, the water won’t do damage.
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