U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff on Jan. 24 awarded approximately $886 million to help the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) continue rebuilding and replacing transportation equipment and facilities damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, which triggered the worst transit disaster in U.S. history. The announcement was made during a conference call with New York officials.
“The U.S. Department of Transportation has worked alongside the New York MTA since Hurricane Sandy made landfall to help the nation’s busiest transit network recover as quickly as possible,” said Foxx. “The funds we are providing today will go a long way to help the MTA continue clearing debris from tunnels, rebuilding stations, and replacing electrical systems damaged by flooding, giving transit riders a transit system that is stronger than ever before.”
The funds reimburse the MTA for work that is already under way and also enable future projects to be completed. Today’s announcement allows MTA to begin drawing down an additional $886 million from the $3.8 billion FTA had allocated to the MTA for Sandy-related work.
“One of our highest priorities in the wake of this record-breaking storm is to ensure that the MTA is able to restore and protect a public transportation network that operates as the central nervous system for New York City and beyond,” said Rogoff. “We will make sure that taxpayer dollars are well spent, and that no one is asked to pay to restore the same transit infrastructure when the next big storm hits.”
MTA will use the funds to complete hundreds of projects in the following categories:
- Rail support and equipment facilities repair: $535 million for critical repairs primarily to three damaged under-river tunnels — Greenpoint, Montague, and Steinway.
- Electrical and power distribution repair: $138.9 million to restore damaged substations and power infrastructure for the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metro-North Railroad.
- Signal and communication repair: $88.1 million to repair essential communications and signal equipment for Metro-North (system-wide) and LIRR’s Long Beach Branch and Westside storage yard.
- Transitway line restoration: $91.5 million to restore damaged rights of way on the Metro-North Harlem, Hudson, and New Haven Lines; and for design services to make long-term repairs to damaged assets.
- Rail stations, stops, and terminals: $32 million to repair to stations, employee facilities, and fare collection equipment for both rail and bus facilities.
For all transit agencies eligible to receive Hurricane Sandy aid, FTA has allocated approximately 55 percent of the $10.35 billion available through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 after a nearly $545 million cut due to sequestration. Approximately $4 billion worth of work is already under way.
Separately, on Dec. 23, FTA announced the availability of $3 billion in competitive funding for resiliency projects that will, first and foremost, reinforce the existing critical infrastructure necessary to support public transportation systems damaged by Hurricane Sandy. These funds will be awarded to advance the best regionally coordinated projects so that taxpayers are not asked to repair the same infrastructure a second and third time.