The South Ferry station in lower Manhattan that was battered by Superstorm Sandy could be reopened in 2016, though not completely resilient to massive flooding, an MTA official said Monday.
John O'Grady, the program executive for Sandy recovery for NYC Transit, said waterproofing the signal room in the lowest level of the station would be the "largest challenge as we move forward," with an estimated completion date of June 2016, according to his presentation to the MTA's Capital Program Oversight Committee. Still, he said that the station would be fully resilient to future floods when the signal room could be moved above ground -- a time-consuming effort that would likely delay the station's rehab to as late as 2019.
"We're moving forward with the first option: hardening the room in its existing location," O'Grady told MTA committee members.
The MTA will look at the feasibility of moving the signal room out of harm's way. Although O'Grady said relocating it within the station was not an option, his presentation included diagrams of possible locations on the sidewalk near Battery Park. But using city park land would invite lawsuits and require the MTA to get approval.
"With the property being parks property, we know we're in for a long process," O'Grady said.
In the meantime, the MTA will focus on waterproofing the roof, strengthening concrete walls to withstand water pressure and installing submarine-style doors that will close during a Sandy-level flooding. Further, the MTA will buy spare signal parts so any damaged equipment can be quickly replaced.