A-line reconstruction in Broad Channel, Queens

December 6, 2012 1:45:32 PM PST
The A line that runs through Broad Channel was severely damaged by Sandy. The station was filled with debris. The emergency effort now is to get it back on line.

Three and half miles of what was the A line largely running through storm ravaged Broad Channel is now one of the biggest recovery projects for the MTA. "The water rushed over and undercut the track. Also, as the water receded. I personally have never seen damage like this before" said John O'Grady from NYC Transit.

Sandy's powerful surge breaches the track beds in two large sections, disabling hundreds of electrical switches. Depositing all sorts of debris and leaving tracks looking like a roller coaster at Coney Island. There was damage every foot.

The site of the second breach was 270 feet wide. The water from the bay came washing in, took out the track bed and three sets of tracks. At one point the water was over the top of the cables.

Making this one of the biggest jobs of the reconstruction, John O'grady said "a 274 river running under the tracks, one month ago, and now that it's filled in and fixed, it's just an amazing accomplishment by the contractor."

J Track, a general contracting company with plenty of transit experience was quickly called into conditions that could not have been worse. Mitch Levine, President of J Track said "fighting this debris we wound up with another storm that everybody remembers. That was snow and sleet and the men had a rough time also. It was rough conditions to say the least."

Heavy equipment and manpower are devoted to this work. And on an hourly basis they still haul away tons of storm debris. "We've taken 3,600 tons of debris off the beach," said Levine.

On the rail lines, many boats, parts of docks and oil drums. Now John O'grady and others walk along a track bed being restored. Where they now assess the damage but still see a lot more work. "Based on what we're finding so far and what we anticipate, we are in a four to six month time frame."

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