The walls of the new South Ferry station, shown here in December 2008, have sprung a leak. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)
As the MTA Inspector General yesterday took the authority to task for glossing over its contracting evaluation guidelines, today, we see a prime example of work gone wrong underground. The new South Ferry terminal on the 1 line — a $527 million that has been open for less than a year — has sprung a leak, and according to reports, shoddy waterproofing by the project’s contractors as well as some design failures on behalf of the MTA are to blame.
According to amNew York’s Heather Haddon, the station is already showing an age well beyond its years, and her piece has a photo prove it. She reports of water-stained platform and mezzanine walls as well as tiles falling after the grouting has been corroded. Bad engineering, she says, is to blame. Reports Haddon:
The contractor, Schiavone Construction of Secaucus, botched the waterproofing for the station, which is located deep under the water table, according to the MTA’s independent engineer. For its part, Schiavone claimed that the MTA had flubbed the project’s design. An independent dispute board ruled last year that both parties were at fault and must share costs for the remediation…
Schiavone did not return a request for comment. Next month, the MTA will grout and add new tiles to the station with $3 million, which came from the contractor as part of the settlement, agency spokesman Kevin Ortiz said. The grouting should cure the problem, he said…
But the leaking could continue, as workers will basically fill in joint cracks instead of reengineering the station with better waterproofing technology, Henderson said.
Ortiz further clarified the agency’s approach to this problem to me in an email this afternoon. “We are monitoring the level of seasonal infiltration and will begin any necessary repairs in March during scheduled General Orders to avoid utilizing funds from the settlement for the diversions and to limit the impact on service,” he said.
For the MTA, water damage has been a source of aesthetic issues at numerous stations throughout the system. The walls on the downtown 2/5 platform, for instance, at 149th St./Grand Concourse station have long carried the scars of damage from water dripping out of corroded platforms. In other areas, wall tilings bulge from the pressure of bad waterproofing. Here, a $527 million project that was delayed due to a gap between the trains and the platform and has been plagued with some problems is the latest to carry those scars. Even the newest crown jewels can’t escape the problems of system more than 100 years old.