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U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) announced on Tuesday $866 million in federal aid to help the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) recover repair costs associated with Hurricane Sandy and to prepare its system to withstand future storms.The funding is the first major reimbursement to the MTA for repair work associated with 2012's Hurricane Sandy, Lowey said in a press release.Of the total $886 million in federal aid, about $103.5 million will fund projects along MTA Metro-North Railroad to guard against high water levels in future storms, including track hardening, and signal and power system upgrades. The remaining funds will support major investments in MTA New York City Transit's subway system damaged by Sandy, including the Montague and Greenway Tunnels.The funding award is being made through the Federal Transit Administration’s Emergency Relief program, which received $10.9 billion under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, the Sandy aid package passed by Congress last year. Of that, $5.7 billion has already been allocated to communities impacted by Sandy, and $3 billion remains available for other projects to make transportation systems less vulnerable to future storms. An additional $1.1 billion will be allocated at a later date for response, recovery and rebuilding efforts, said Lowey, the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee. Lowey helped lead a bipartisan effort to pass the full Sandy assistance package.
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