As another alternative, customers may also use buses that run along the impacted routes, including the Q52/Q53 Select Bus Service.
By Forum Staff
A flood-protection project in the Rockaways designed to make subway infrastructure more resilient in the face of future storms and improve the overall reliability of service on the peninsula is set to start on April 9, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials announced on Friday.
The fix-and-fortify enterprise will be performed in two phases—April 9 to May 18 along the Rockaway Park branch; July 2 to Sept. 3 along the Far Rockaway branch—impacting one side of the peninsula at a time.
New York City Transit houses rail operations facilities on the peninsula that are critical to the A line, according to the MTA. The facilities include a power substation, a signal tower, signal compressor and hydraulic rooms, circuit breaker houses, and crew quarters.
The peninsula is in a flood zone that is vulnerable to the surges generated by a major storm, evident in the destruction brought by Superstorm Sandy. While engineering efforts left the substation and equipment undamaged during Sandy, NYCT indicated that it believes that taking a proactive approach to its resiliency efforts will ensure the long-term safety of the facilities against the impacts of future extreme storms. In turn, customers along the Rockaways can be assured that their ability to move in and out of their homes will not be disrupted for long periods of time during a natural disaster.
During the project, crews will construct a perimeter flood wall and flood gates, as well as a new compressor building within the protected site.
“As we have seen time and time again, our subway system is impacted by the forces of nature,” said New York City Transit President Andy Byford. “Just as our employees work around the clock to clean up after a storm, we must also proactively protect our infrastructure.”
Special S shuttle train service will be provided as an alternative, Byford noted, while the post-Sandy work is done on two separate sections of the A line in two separate phases. Shuttle trains will be lengthened as needed for capacity during Phase 2. The agency has promised that extra personnel will be posted at key stations including major transfer points to help customers.
Straphangers may also use buses that run along the impacted routes: Q22, Q35, Q52-SBS/Q53-SBS, QM16 Express, and QM17 Express.
Byford also said that Community Board 14 and all area elected officials have already been notified about the project scope and schedule. MTA NYC Transit has pledged to conduct an “aggressive customer notification program” in advance of the work, including signage, brochures, and electronic messages.