MTA: LIRR Sandy repairs could top $600 million

Workers repair storm damage at the LIRR's Long

Workers repair storm damage at the LIRR's Long Beach station. (Nov. 2, 2012) (Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)

Costs to repair parts of the Long Island Rail Road damaged in superstorm Sandy could top $600 million, according to a breakdown released by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Tuesday.

The MTA preliminary estimate systemwide totals $5.023 billion.

On Long Island, damage to the LIRR's Long Beach branch -- the cost of replacing three substations, repairing the rail yard there, replacing the line's customer information system and replacing a cable and emergency generator on the Reynolds Channel bridge -- could total $88 million.

Replacing switches at the Merrick substation, also in Nassau, is estimated at $5 million.

There were no damage estimates for the LIRR system in Suffolk, but many of the costs -- such as material for communications, signal and power systems ($14.5 million) and labor costs to restore them ($100 million) -- are listed as "systemwide."

Other damage affecting Long Islanders' commutes:

Emergency restoration work for the Queens-Midtown Tunnel ($8 million), replacing its damaged interior, roadway and lighting ($350 million) and security equipment ($1 million);

Repairs to rail yards on the West Side and in Long Island City where LIRR trains and equipment are housed ($30 million);

Damage to the East River tunnels ($100 million);

Upgrades to the East River tunnel and West Side yard flood gates, pumping facilities and aquadams ($20 million).

The biggest item, according to the breakdown, is for signal restoration systemwide -- estimated at $770 million. The Rockaway line restoration is estimated at another $650 million.

The MTA said no structural damage occurred to major projects, such as East Side Access, the subway's 7 line extension or the Second Avenue subway. But it estimates there will be costs for lost construction time and overtime needed to finish on time.

For the East Side Access project, for example, that cost is $20.2 million. MTA chairman Joseph Lhota said the storm would not affect the project's schedule. "There will be no further delay," he said.

The MTA estimates lost revenue over the five-day period, when most or all of the system was shut down due to the storm, at $124 million. It incurred an additional $144 million in around-the-clock operating expenses during that time.

In a separate Sandy cost breakdown, the Port Authority estimates revenue loss and other expenses at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports at $53.7 million.

Revenue loss, expenses and damage to the PATH train system could reach $305.6 million, while damage at port terminals is estimated at $102.3 million and at the World Trade Center site, $350 million.

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