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LUL blast experts to help with post WTC New York subway repairs

LONDON UNDERGROUND has offered to help New York's subway operator with blast strengthening work on the city's underground rail network.

LUL chief engineer Keith Beattie made the offer in a letter to New York City Transit (NYCT) chiefs.

Deputy NYCT chief engineer Connie Crawford told NCE: 'We received an offer from London Underground to give us some assistance which we are very appreciative of.'

LUL carried out major strengthening work on parts of the Tube after a study concluded that massive flooding could have resulted in the eventuality of a bomb attack in some tunnels.

The Bakerloo and Northern Lines under the Thames were strengthened along with Brunel's Thames Tunnel in 1996.

Crawford said strengthening to protect the subway was being examined and that LUL's expertise would be considered.

Meawhile attention is turning to efforts to repair subway tunnels damaged by the collapse of the twin World Trade Center towers on September 11.

Crawford said that NYCT's immediate priority was to reopen 1.6km of subway carrying lines 1 and 9 which were closed by falling debris. Debris from the 80th floor of one tower pierced 10m of soil cover over one tunnel, sending debris hurtling into the subway.

'We can't just pull it out as this could further damage the tunnels, ' she said. Part of the tunnel is also supported by the WTC foundation 'bathtub' slurry wall and repairs must be co-ordinated with work to stabilise this.

It is thought repairing this stretch of subway could cost up to $2bn (£1.4bn).

Co-chair of the city's infrastructure task force and Parsons Brinckerhoff chairman Bob Prieto said that loss of the Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) train tunnels which also ran into the WTC was causing major passenger congestion elsewhere in the city.

A decision to relocate the WTC's PATH terminal to an old station east of the site where trains stopped before the WTC was built is 'imminent'.

But he said the long term consequences of the disaster remained serious for Manhattan.

'Reality is setting in about what can be done and when.

Transport infrastucture will take up to two years to replace, but replacing lost office space could take 6-8 years. People won't wait that long and will make other decisions, ' he said.

INFOPLUS Go to www. nceplus. co. uk

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