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Sandy-Ravaged South Ferry Station Could Be Closed for 3 Years

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Photos of the South Ferry Station, with debris-filled water visible from the entrance stairs, were widely circulated after Hurricane Sandy, indicative of just how badly the storm damaged the subway system. The storm fill the station with more than 14.5 million gallons of water some 80 feet deep, and MTA officials told the Journal that it could be three years before the station is ready to reopen. The $600 million cost to rebuild it will be even more than the $545 million renovation it underwent in 2009. It will cost about $350 million to repair physical damage to the station, $200 million to replace the 600 electromechanical relays, circuit breakers, and switch boards that were corroded by the salty water, and $30 million to replace third rails.

The MTA must also decide if they should move the electronic equipment to higher elevation, which would require changing the layout of the station. This decision has to be made before any signal repair work begins, and the challenges to replacing all of this equipment highlight post-storm issues faced by the whole system.

Some equipment that was lightly corroded was simply refurbished and put back into service, but this makes it much more likely to fail. Take the R train for instance, which wasn't restored to full service until December 21. Equipment from the Whitehall Station through the tunnel to Brooklyn has failed at least once every day since then.

The MTA led a media tour of the station yesterday, and Benjamin Kabak has a 47-photo gallery showing the extent of the damage. All photos in this post are Kabak's, but click through for many more.
· Subway Fix Could Take Three Years [WSJ]
· A Look Inside South Ferry, Three Months Later [SAS]