Tuesday, December 17, 2013

MTA eyes 2016 return to South Ferry Station

Written by 

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) hopes to restore service to the recently upgraded – and storm-destroyed – South Ferry Station in lower Manhattan by mid-2016.

To that end, MTA officials on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, presented plans and options for station rehabilitation, including possible relocation of critical signal relay electrical components from underground to an above-ground location adjacent to the station site.

The recommended location, however, sits adjacent to (and in some form encroaches on) Battery Park, itself undergoing a makeover, and a likely trigger for interdepartmental and civic squabbling over the possible loss of parkland.

MTA expects the station restoration to cost $600 million, equivalent to the amount spent to upgrade the station the first time, anticipating much of the cost to be covered by federal funds allocated for repair to damage from Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. MTA plans to start the bid process early next year, with a demolition contract for damaged current infrastructure to be offered next month.

MTA's presentation outlined interim and long-term flood remediation plans, including recently hyped submarine-style doors that can effectively protect electrical equipment in the face of storm surges and other water-related damage. Pending approval of an above-ground site, MTA will try to reinforce current underground electrical sites.

Decommissioned in 2009, the old South Ferry Station was reactivated as the terminus for MTA New York City Transit's No. 1 subway line, provided a limited length, curved platform which allowed passenger entry and exit from only five cars, generating safety and crowd flow issues. The old station also suffered from flood damage but was more readily available for use.