Seven Years Since Sandy, And LIRR Repairs Still Not Complete

Oct 29, 2019

Pat Foye, chairman and CEO of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, at a meeting to discuss the MTA's subway and bus fare evasion enforcement policy in New York City in June.
Credit Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The head of the MTA, Patrick Foye, says the agency is still years away from completing its Superstorm Sandy-related repairs of the Long Island Rail Road.

One of the main projects still pending is the repair to the East River tunnels. They were flooded with millions of gallons of corrosive salt water when Sandy hit seven years ago this month.

Amtrak, which owns the tunnels used by the LIRR, says it’s not likely to have the design phase for the tunnel repairs completed until 2021. 

Other significant LIRR upgrades, like the West Side Yard by Penn Station, will not begin for at least two years.

Foye said he was proud of the LIRR repairs that have been completed so far. Most of them have been focused on the Long Beach line.

In a statement, the MTA says they have made substantial progress to restore, repair and fortify its infrastructure in the event of extreme weather and have instituted a robust, and ongoing, resiliency program. They note the extreme damage to not only the LIRR and Metro-North, but to the New York City subway system.