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US spends £2.2bn on east coast resilience post Hurricane Sandy

The United States will spend £2.2bn ($3.59bn) to to help public transportation systems in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy to become more resilient.

Hurricane Sandy

Flooded subway after Hurricane Sandy.

Around 90% of the funds will be invested in in New York and New Jersey, where transit systems sustained the worst of the storm damage, with the remainder going towards projects in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.

“We’ve made great progress rebuilding critical transit connections since Hurricane Sandy, and we want to make sure no one pays for these repairs twice,” said transport secretary Anthony Foxx. “While no one can predict the future with certainty, we believe these investments will help to harden transit facilities against future storms that Mother Nature dishes out, supporting President Obama’s call to address climate change now and reducing the risk of service disruptions and future damage to some of the nation’s busiest rail and bus services.”

Projects selected for resilience funding were required to demonstrate that they would reduce the risk of damage to public transportation assets inflicted by future natural disasters. Emphasis was placed on a project’s ability to protect the most essential and vulnerable infrastructure, as well as effective collaboration and coordination among local and regional governments.

Resilience projects receiving funds include:

  • The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will receive approximately £1bn to make flood protections at multiple street-level openings throughout the subway system, rail yards, substations, critical support facilities and underground equipment; tunnel portals used by the Long Island Railroad and Amtrak; and Rockaway Line stations; upgrade an emergency management communication system; flood proof communications and signal rooms at key subway stations; upgrade water pumping capacity; and flood proof four bus depots.
  • New Jersey Transit will receive approximately £800m to reduce the risk of flooding to Hoboken rail yard and the city by filling a deteriorated inlet inside the rail yard; construct a rail storage and re-inspection facility located outside the floodplain that could be used to safely store vehicles in an emergency; and replace the aged and deteriorated Raritan River Drawbridge damaged by Hurricane Sandy with a new bridge that is less vulnerable to storm surge and flooding.

A list of all funded resilience projects is available here.

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