Skip to comments.Broad Channel Crossing Must Be Rebuilt, Leaving Rockaways Without A-Train for Months or Longer
Posted on 11/04/2012 3:03:30 PM PST by neverdem
The Rockaways have been one of the hardest hit areas of the city following Superstorm Sandy, with lives lost, houses destroyed, crime on the streets. It has also been a remarkably resilient place, with diehard New Yorkers beginning the daunting work of rebuilding. It will be a long time before the Rockaways returns to normal, though, and it turns out that goes for subway service to the area, too.
At a press briefing Thursday night, MTA chief Joe Lhota said it would be some time before A-train service could be restored to the Rockaways due to extensive damage to the Broad Channel crossing that carries the train between Howard Beach in Brooklyn to the Rockaways.
“The amount of destruction on the A-train over Broad Channel is indescribable,” Mr. Lhota told reporters. “I’ve seen it, I’ve seen pictures of it, the amount of damage, this was almost a direct hit. It’s over water, it’s through marshland, it’s going to take quite a long time to rebuild this, and I’m talking about rebuilding this. I’m talking about the water that went underneath and really affected the structural integrity. This part of the world, what happened in the Rockaways was really devastating. Not only that, but this A-train, that extends from Howard Beach over here, it’s just nightmarish.”
The Broad Channel crossing runs over three bridges and miles of track just feet from the waters of Jamaica Bay. It can make for a beautiful seen of families on the beach and fishermen, of herons and egrets taking flight, as well as planes from JFK. But during a severe storm such as Sandy, this can prove a liability. Our greatest strength is our greatest weakness, as the Governor Cuomo has said time and again.
The Observer asked if the damage might be as severe as to the Port Jervis line, which was damaged during Hurricane Irene, when debris twisted the tracks out of alignment. It was a job that took three months to complete, but one that was also finished ahead of schedule. Mr. Lhota’s answer underscores just how difficult, and lengthy, rebuilding may prove to be.
“I think it’s worse than the twisted tracks,” Mr. Lhota said. “That was at least on the ground. The foundation of what’s holding it up is severely shot, we have to rebuild it.”
There are regulatory issues as well. Because the line travels through Gateway National Recreation Area, as well as a bird preserve, the federal government has some oversight over any repairs, which means the MTA could have to submit to not only state but also federal environmental reviews when it comes time to approve the rebuilding plan.
“There’s some other issues here, but this is going to take quite a long time, this is going to be a lot of intervention from various different entities that have different oversight over environmental issuesEPA, National Parks, National Wildlife, it’s significant,” Mr. Lhota said.
The situation remains dire and vague as of today, according to a release this morning from the MTA about the restoration of service: “The Rockaway branch of the A train requires extensive reconstruction and no timetable has been established for resumption of service there.”
The Rockaways, aka Rockaway & Rockapulco, is the long skinny peninsula south of Brooklyn and Queens. It's about 10 miles long. I lived there for 6 years until 2000. Family and friends have been going there for generations in Rockaways's bungalows. Here's http://www.mapquest.com/.
Someone oughta call Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggert.
“...the MTA could have to submit to not only state but also federal environmental reviews when it comes time to approve the rebuilding plan.”
Environmental reviews? 5, maybe 10 years?
Folks in the Rockaways better hope Obama looses.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my New York ping list.
Without wheels in Rockaway, they're screwed. In normal times it can be almost an hour driving into Manhattan.
Let’s see, they will have to meet yet to be written regulations from EPA, National Parks and others. I think the final train for these folks has already left the station. I’m sure if anyone were to remind BO what he said about cutting red tape he would respond that he was only talking about regulations in place before Sandy hit, not new ones that are being developed while these people wait.
Looks like a good opportunity for some enterprising fairy operators, unless that is controlled also.
I think he’s being a bit dramatic. All applicable environmental documentation requirements were waived by the Federal government when the I-35W bridge was replaced after it collapsed in August 2007. NYC should have no problem getting the same waivers as long as they are basically replacing the bridge “in kind.”
Did you mean ferry operators?
” It can make for a beautiful seen “
Wow! Wirds fayul mee!
Nonsense! That's 3 phone calls, 15 minutes max each, so that's 45 minutes, tops. Obama said so.
It can make for a beautiful seen of families on the beach and fishermen
You know, if the folks don’t want non-union crews to get their power on, let them sit in the dark. And if they want ‘free money’ instead of loans like the poor folks in Mississippi and Alabama got, then my sympathy gets close to zero.
Folks are getting the quality of government and services that they voted for.
Rockapulco is in NYC.
The only Taggart I know about is Taggart Romney
How long did it take the US Army to throw up a track across the Rhine River after all the bridges were blown?
Wow. They’re going to have to start with driving piles. Gonna take for-effing-ever! Bridge built from scratch.
-——EPA, National Parks, National Wildlife-———
Audobon Society, National Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club.......
The area is no better than the Anhwar tundra in Alaska and must revert, be preserved. The railroad should never be rebuilt
Hmmmm. 2007. This is 2012. Has anything or anybody changed at the top of the bureaucracies? Anything at all? Anybody?
I spent 50 years on The Rock ... 3rd generation ... still have family there.
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