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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Gov. Cuomo reveals federal funding details for MTA's Hurricane Sandy cleanup costs

Yesterday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo detailed how nearly $200 million in federal dollars will be used for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) Hurricane Sandy-related recovery costs.

The $193.1 million in total funds include an initial reimbursement from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for storm preparation costs incurred by New York City Transit (NYCT), Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metro-North Railroad through Jan. 29, Cuomo administration officials said in a prepared statement.

The funding also includes millions of dollars to rebuild MTA bridges, tunnels and other facilities, they said.

The funds represent the first round of funding MTA received to recover from hurricane damage and rebuild the system to make it stronger.

According to Cuomo's breakdown of the funds:

• $141.6 million from FTA's new Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program will go to NYCT to help repair, reconstruct and replace damage equipment and facilities. Covered costs will include pre-storm preparations of the subway, bus and Staten Island Railway system; initial capital work and repairs at the Coney Island Yard; installation of new switch motors and testing of 30 track switches; implementation of a bus bridge that provided shuttle service between East Side Manhattan and Brooklyn; and initial scope and design efforts for additional restoration.

• $17.9 million will be used to restore a subway line in the Rockaways, parts of which were washed away during the storm. The hurricane damaged 3.6 miles of the A Line between Howard Beach and the Rockaways section of Queens. The A Line is anticipated to reopen this summer.

• $20.9 million in FTA funds will reimburse LIRR for storm preparation and recovery costs. During the storm, LIRR suspended service, moved more than 1,000 cars to elevated areas, secured hundreds of grade crossings over 700 miles of track and protected low-lying properties from flooding. After the storm, crews cleared more than 600 downed trees and utility poles, boats and other debris from the right of way; restored washed out track; repaired third rails, switches and signals; and repaired more than 20 electrical substations that were flooded and damaged. LIRR also is working with the FTA to pursue additional reimbursement for the most serious infrastructure damaged, which occurred when corrosive salt water flooded the East River tunnels, West Side Yard, Long Island City Yard and the Long Beach Branch.

• $14.9 million will go to Metro-North for pre-storm preparation, emergency response and service restoration. About $12.7 million of the funning is allocated for the Connecticut portion of the New Haven Line. FTA's Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program will cover $11.2 million of Metro-North's costs to prepare for the storm, make immediate repairs and re-establish service. The FTA funds also include another $3 million to repair 17 rail cars and seven locomotives damaged by flood water, and $720,000 to remove fallen trees close to infrastructure and rights of way.

• $3 million in expedited funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will go toward work on MTA's seven bridges and two tunnels.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/7/2013