South Ferry station reopens five years after Hurricane Sandy destruction


New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has re-opened South Ferry station after it was ‘completely destroyed’ by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

MTA interim executive director Ronnie Hakim said that – much like the nearby World Trade Centre – South Ferry station has risen from disaster after disaster.

The $530 million station was originally built in March 2009 to assist in the economic recovery and residential development of Lower Manhattan following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In 2012 Hurricane Sandy sent 15 million gallons of salt water – awash with sewage and debris – into the subway station’s complex, destroying its critical electrical and mechanical systems.

Above: the destruction at South Ferry station in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Whilst the station was being rebuilt passengers used the old South Ferry loop station which MTA spent $2 million reopening following the disaster.

Almost $370 million has been now been spent removing damaged equipment and restoring and upgrading the new station to protect it from future flooding.

Retractable flood doors have been installed at the station entrances as well as 6,000lb steel flood doors throughout the station.

The air-conditioning system has been replaced and new help points have been added.

The work at South Ferry station is part of MTA’s plans to protect the subway system in Lower Manhattan from future storms, which it has allocated $5.8 billion to.

MTA chairman Joseph Lhota said: “In the hours and days after the storm hit, New Yorkers were reminded just how vulnerable we are to Mother Nature and how dependent the region is on the MTA.

“That’s why our efforts to harden the system to guard against these vulnerabilities is so critical – not only for the transit network infrastructure itself, but for the regional economy and more than eight million customers who rely on us each today.”

Acting New York transit president Darryl Irick added: “The newly rebuilt South Ferry Terminal has been fixed and fortified with extraordinary measures to protect the waterfront station from flooding.

“Not only has the station been restored after being destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, but it’s now better protected than ever with movable marine doors, tunnel barriers and 1,500-gallon-per-minute water pumps, among other innovative improvements.”

Read more: Amtrak continues upgrade work at New York’s Penn station