Posted byAnthony Foxx
In the year since Hurricane Sandy, we have worked closely with our state and federal partners to help restore transportation systems in affected states, while also working to ensure that new infrastructure is built to withstand future storms.
Rebuilding damaged roads, bridges, tunnels, and transit lines is no easy task. And this Department has worked hard to speed relief and recovery funds to the state and local agencies doing the heavy lifting. That lifting is the real work, and the men and women doing it deserve our thanks.
Hurricane Sandy provided a devastating reminder of how much we depend on our transportation systems.
I saw the scope of the reconstruction work during a recent visit to the Montague Tunnel, a subway tube that was flooded by Sandy with 27 million gallons of corrosive salt water. The tunnel has been closed since August for significant track work and replacement of lights, signals, and electrical equipment.
There's a lot of work to be done in that tunnel. And through the Federal Transit Administration, DOT will contribute $236 million, or about 90 percent of the estimated cost, to get it done.
65,000 people --riders of the "R" train-- are being disrupted by this 14-month project. And I know there are others whose regular routes and transit service have been disrupted. But every day in the region, some new asset is reopened, and you can rest assured that there are hard-working people on the job doing their best to get your commute back to normal as soon as possible.
In fact, right now, there is $1.4 billion in transportation recovery work currently underway.
I also had a chance recently to speak with some DOT employees in New York, men and women who--like their neighbors--lost loved ones and property. And I want to thank them for working while knowing that their own homes were damaged and in need of attention, for charging their blackberries with car batteries so they could keep working on behalf of others, and for continuing that work throughout the year..
These are just a couple of examples of the ongoing recovery in New York, New Jersey, and other affected states. It's a testament both to the terrible power of Sandy and the terrific resilience of these communities.
From the hours before Sandy made landfall, when we worked with our partners to move relief equipment into position, DOT has been a strong partner in this recovery. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, we joined our partners and other federal agencies in working to ensure fast, efficient transport of power sources, fuel, and supplies to speed Hurricane Sandy emergency relief efforts.
In the year since the storm struck, we have stood with our partners every step of the way. And we will be with them in the future, as they finish the job with transportation systems that are even stronger than before and better able to withstand future storms.