Rumor: Transit crews surveying the old South FerryBy
Despite our dalliances with the question, the MTA has spent the better part of the last few months vowing to rebuild the new South Ferry terminal despite the damage is sustained during Sandy. With aid money flowing and Staten Island officials griping, the MTA has vowed to speed up the job, but how?
Tonight, an interesting service alert popped up on the MTA’s website. There is no 1 train service south of Chambers St. tonight. Why? A post on SubChat may have an answer:
For what it’s worth, we have an emergency G/O out of nowhere taking place Tuesday night and Wednesday, shutting down the (1) line below Chambers Street for a “survey of old South Ferry Station”.
A friend of mine who works on the (1) line also reports that crews have been stripping tiles and cleaning up on the platform, as well as doing some sort of work on the gap fillers.
Due diligence or something more? I’ll let you decide. Keep in mind, though, that anything that happens at the old South Ferry would be but a temporary measure that’s far from seeing the light of day. The station, as I noted a few days ago, has been taken over by NYC DOT and is being used for both crew quarters and storage. Gap filters need to be replaced, and the station complex itself has to be cleaned up. It also suffered water damage.
Even if something happens at the old South Ferry loop, though, that will not preclude the MTA from restoring the new terminal. First, the agency will still have to address the signal equipment and control tower destroyed by Sandy, and rebuilding that infrastructure is very costly. Second, the MTA has received the promise of funds to rebuild the station, and as with any earmarked federal expenditure, it can’t shift those dollars elsewhere. For what it’s worth, though, it sounds as though the MTA is leaning toward gutting the new South Ferry and essentially rebuilding it due to the infiltration of corrosive salt water.
I’ll try to find out more tomorrow, but here’s what I think is happening: The MTA is doing what it must to assess the station and determine if it’s possible to restore some temporary service to the loop station. That doesn’t mean service will return there; it just means that it could if everything aligns properly. Maybe it would be rush hour-only service; maybe it will be nothing. But any rigorous assessment of the area should include a South Ferry survey, and one seems to be happening tonight.