NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tuesday marked the seventh anniversary of Superstorm Sandy battering the Tri-State Area. Communities are still recovering from the devastation.
Transit officials say the rebuilding efforts are far from over. CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas got a firsthand look at the recovery and what it will mean for travelers going forward.
Each construction project at the Coney Island rail yard signals lessons learned from Sandy. The hub for six subway lines continues to recover after being submerged under 27 million gallons of water that destroyed key equipment.
“Normally we would be burying cables, but instead we’re protecting them by now suspending them on this cable structure,” said Veronique Hakim, managing director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Add to that a flood wall that is being built along the perimeter that goes 30 feet below ground.
Those are just two of the many examples of how the MTA is implementing preventative measures to protect against another storm, including one that could be even stronger than Sandy.
“We learned where our vulnerabilities were. We learned what we need to do to prevent this from happening again,” Hakim said.
The rail yard recovery effort and many others will take years to complete, and the MTA said it’s going to use what’s working and apply it to future projects.
“L” train customers are enduring more than a year of delays and modified schedules as new technology is being used to reconstruct the Canarsie Tunnel, a project transit officials told Cline-Thomas is ahead of schedule.
“Lessons of the L train and, frankly, other projects will be incorporated into the Rutgers Tunnel restoration when that work begins,” MTA Chairman Patrick Foye said.
The Rutgers Tunnel, which carries the “F” train under the East River, is next up for a revamping, but first more money is needed.
“On money that’s been committed across the MTA, 77% of it has been spent. We’ve got a great deal of work to do,” Foye said.
Because of climate change transit officials say it’s not a matter of if, but when another major storm will hit.
But they say next time, they’ll be ready.
Construction at the Coney Island rail yard is expected to be complete in 2023.