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Signs of recovery: FEMA funding gives New York infrastructure a boost

In October 2012, an estimated 80 million gallons of saltwater inundated the Hugh L. Carey (Formerly Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel ‘BBT’) and Queens Midtown tunnels ‘QMT.’ Floodwaters from Hurricane Sandy damaged architectural, mechanical and electrical components of both tunnels. While the effects of the storm damaged many homes and left millions without power, it also left a deep impact on transportation — a vital aspect to the livelihood of New Yorkers.

Queens Midtown Tunnel infrastructure damaged from Hurricane Sandy flooding
Queens Midtown Tunnel infrastructure damaged from Hurricane Sandy flooding. K.C.Wilsey/FEMA

The BBT and QMT connect Brooklyn and Queens to Manhattan, respectively. For many who live, work and frequent either of the boroughs, they depend on thruways. According to a recently published New York City Department of Transportation report, the BBT averages 54,000 vehicles daily and the QMT averages 88,000.

FEMA has awarded more than $336 million to the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) for storm damage repairs and hazard mitigation under FEMA’s Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for permanent work (Section 428).

FEMA funding will be used to pay for critical repairs and mitigation measures aimed to protect against damage from future weather events.

All construction will be designed to protect the tunnels against a 500-year flood event. Specific actions include the elevation of select mechanical equipment, converting to submersible pumps where possible and relocating revenue control equipment.

Damage inside Hugh L. Carey Tunnel
Interior portion of Hugh L. Carey Tunnel damaged by Hurricane Sandy flooding. K.C.Wilsey/FEMA

This project, one of many, is intended to strengthen New York’s infrastructure and to provide safer mobility for individuals.


Last Updated: 
07/08/2017 - 10:22