After last week’s uproar over the G and L trains, the clamor from the crowd for more subway service has died down, but a few key missing links remain. The 1 train won’t be heading to South Ferry any time soon, and the J and Z trains haven’t yet reached Broad St. The Rockaways, as we know, will be cut off for a while as well. But the largest gap in service remains on the R line.
The Montague St. Tunnel, the R train’s link between Brooklyn and Manhattan, suffered severe flooding during the Sandy storm surge, and it hasn’t come back into service yet. According to a report in today’s Daily News, it’s going to be a while yet. MTA officials say it could be at least two or three more weeks, and Pete Donohue has some details:
Water from an unprecedented sea surge cascaded down a tunnel ventilation shaft at the southern tip of Manhattan, and it rushed down the stairs of the Whitehall St./South Ferry station, officials said. The volume of water in the tunnel was so great it extended up a steep incline into Brooklyn Heights – about four blocks from the riverbank. It stopped about 500 feet from Court St. station, MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said. “That’s a long distance and the water was floor to ceiling,” Lhota said. “The tunnel and the equipment was severely damaged.”
New York 1 had the nitty-gritty on the damage:
The R stations and tunnels are now pumped out and dry so crews can repair the saltwater damage. They components have to be replaced in each of the signals along that entire section of track. One example is the signal fuses. Crews say green mold has corroded the normally brown-colored components. Crews are also fixing light fixtures, telephone lines and fire alarms in the R tunnel.
It’s all well and good to repair these components and get the service back up and running but doing so without an eye toward immediate preventative measures is akin to closing the barn door after the horse escapes. Another storm will come; another flood will happen; and we’ll do this all over again.