New York’s Montague Tube tunnel is to close for 14 months so that major repairs can be carried out to infrastructure devastated by Superstorm Sandy.
The city’s transport authority, MTA, has opted for a complete closure of the tunnel to allow the repair and replacement of components that were corroded by the 27 million gallons of salt water that flooded the tube.
Although temporary measures were put in place to allow services to restart following the disaster, MTA has said a long-term closure is needed to carry out permenant repairs.
Thomas F. Prendergast, interim executive director of the MTA, said in a statement: “Even after we restored service through the tube, incidents of component failures rose dramatically and it was known that the service lives of vital equipment, components and systems would be severely reduced.
“The chief area of concern is the stubborn layer of corrosion that resulted from the salt water contamination of the tube’s mechanical and electrical systems, which accelerated the deterioration of these vital systems and will further reduce their reliability over time, with a corresponding rise in system delays and other problems.”
A series of staggered weekend closures was put forward but rejected as the project would then take too long. MTA has been awarded federal funding to carry out repairs to its transport network, but only under the condition that any work must be completed within two years.