City gets $400M to fortify Sandy-damaged tunnels

Funds from FEMA latest storm-related aid from Uncle Sam

Flooding after Hurricane Sandy at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel
Flooding after Hurricane Sandy at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel

In addition to the $42 million in federal funds allotted to business recovery and programs to assist owners of storm-damaged homes, the U.S. government intends to give the Metropolitan Transportation Authority more than $400 million to repair and maintain tunnels damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, better known as FEMA, plans to hand over $403 million to the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The money is to be used to fortify the tunnels against future floods, Newsday reported. The funds, intended primarily for East River tunnel repairs, will update the lighting and electrical systems.

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An additional $74.5 million has been earmarked for maintenance of the Brooklyn-Battery and the Midtown tunnels, NY1 reported.

The Brooklyn-Battery, which flooded with 90 million gallons of water during the storm, was once referred to by developer Bill Rudin as a “drain ditch.” The comment reportedly hit on concerns from then-MTA chairman Joseph Lota that plugging up the tunnel would force water into the streets in future surges. [NY1] and [Newsday]Angela Hunt