Home 7 Line Extension Scientists: 7 line extension safe from electric eels

Scientists: 7 line extension safe from electric eels

by Benjamin Kabak

In what is possibly the weirdest MTA-related story in years, DNA Info reports today that the 7 line extension is safe from electric eels. Now, an astute reader may be wondering how this came about a year before the project is due to wrap and why anyone would be focusing on electric eels in the first place. Well, the story is quite strange.

As Jill Colvin reports, MTA Board Member Charlie Moerdler raised the issue at a recent board member when he claimed to remember eels coming ashore and wreaking havoc on metal pipes during construction of the Javits Center. Moerdler helped the Javits Center secure an exemption to New York’s plumbing rules, and the convention center received permission to use plastic piping. “That’s the issue. Does it apply to the 7 line and does it apply to the area where the Hudson Yards is?” he asked.

Colvin dug up the March 1980 Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Javits Center and could find no mention of electric eels raising any alarms. She also spoke with the eel project coordinator at the Hudson River Eel Project who said that electric eels do not live in New York Harbor or the Hudson River. “I don’t think you have to worry about electric eel damage,” Chris Bowser said. The MTA, meanwhile, has no plans to to eel-proof the West Side subway extension, and I for one am glad that’s settled.

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Tony April 17, 2013 - 3:27 pm

Maybe Lhota should have said
“Be an eel!”
Instead of
“Be A Man!”

Rob April 17, 2013 - 3:38 pm

If eels do not live in New York Harbor or the Hudson River, why do we need a Hudson River Eel Project? Somebody got a worthless grant from Big Government? Or maybe a Big Government employee?

Eric F April 17, 2013 - 4:17 pm

That guy must have answered the phone on the first ring.

al April 17, 2013 - 8:06 pm

Maybe he is confusing pipe corrosion, sea water intrusion, 1800’s waterfront landfilling, fish in HVAC heat exchangers, and historic noxious Hudson River pollution.

Chuck April 17, 2013 - 8:15 pm

According to the story, there are eels in the Hudson River (and they’re thriving!), but none of the electric variety.

Greg April 17, 2013 - 3:45 pm

Why is there an eel project? From the linked article, electric eels can’t live in the Hudson because they are tropical. “The river is, however, home to many non-electric American Eels, which he said are frequently mistaken for the electric variety.” Apparently, people aren’t aware that there are many types of eels other than electric ones.

Eric Brasure April 17, 2013 - 4:08 pm

This seems like an eely great report.

Eric F April 17, 2013 - 4:16 pm

This is just what the eels want you to think. Now they have us right where they want us.

Grzond April 17, 2013 - 4:19 pm

Do you mean American Eels (which are in several NYC water ways) or Electric Eels (which, no).

John-2 April 17, 2013 - 5:03 pm

I thought they got rid of the electric eels in Manhattan when they tore down the Third Avenue line in 1955…

D in the Bush April 17, 2013 - 6:27 pm

Electric eels is about as funny as when the MTA stated the new South Ferry Station had leaky walls because of a rising ocean.
Perhaps that’s why the rebuild will really cost so much.

DF April 17, 2013 - 6:28 pm

Anyone else read that as “Secaucus 7 line extension” at first?

AG April 17, 2013 - 9:03 pm

I think they were confused…. there are eels for instance in the Bronx River… but they are not “electric”.

Eddie Sporn April 17, 2013 - 11:05 pm

Maybe he was thinking of the old Third Avenue Eel.

anon April 18, 2013 - 10:27 am

ever notice the similarities to a bullet train?

Matthias April 18, 2013 - 2:06 pm

This story reads like something out of the Onion. Apparently the Hudson River Eel Project does exist. Who knew…?

Techeads April 19, 2013 - 1:07 pm

What’s really cool is the eels are self cooking and taste like chicken!


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