PATH on track to complete improvements to protect system from storms like Sandy
The Port Authority’s PATH system was hit hard during Superstorm Sandy, and was shut down for weeks. Repairs and resilience projects are on track to be completed by the end of the year – eight years after the storm devastated the Garden State.
The PATH station at Hoboken Terminal took on extensive damage.
“Significant loss. That’s the best way I can describe it, because of the saltwater damage that infiltrated our system,” says PATH director and general manager Clarelle DeGraffe.
The Hudson River poured into the PATH station during the storm. The damage was difficult to repair.
“Damage not only to our elevator, but turnstile system. Water went into the track area, took out our signals,” DeGraffe says.
News 12 New Jersey was given a firsthand look at some of the big steps the Port Authority has taken to fix the PATH system at the Hoboken station. Two massive storm doors have been installed to keep floodwater out of the station. The elevator that was destroyed by the storm and was the main source of all the water that came rushing in is now made of aquarium-grade class.
“Very thick. Very resilient. It can withstand thousands of pounds of water pressure, but also the impact load from waves coming off the Hudson,” says Damian McShane, of PATH Capital Projects Management.
This is part of the PATH’s overall recovery program, which is expected to be fully complete in Hoboken by the end of 2020. It will ensure a safer and more reliable ride for thousands of commuters.
PATH officials say that the improvements will mean that should a storm similar to Sandy strike again, it will take a day or a few hours, instead of weeks to get the PATH back up and running.
Once the major repairs are completed and flood protections in place, PATH officials say that the agency will start another project to repair the cosmetic damage Sandy caused.
The work is being funded in part by the Federal Transit Administration.