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Drip, drip, drip: Leaks a common subway problem

Cortland Street subway station experiences water damage after it's recent re-opening in November of last year. (Photo by Kate Warburton)

Subway leaks are springing up in new stations throughout the city.

Water has already stained the tiles and dripped onto the platforms of the renovated Cortladt Street R/W station, a $7.25 million project that wrapped up just 10 weeks ago. At times, the water has frozen on the platform, according to riders.

“It’s disappointing,” said Brian Thomasos, 48, a Brooklyn rider. “I definitely wouldn’t have thought it was new because of the leaks and water damage.”

Over at the new Long Island Rail Road terminal in Brooklyn, water has rusted a stairway on the platform level and riders have had to dodge leaks dripping from the ceiling. Eight years of work on the new $108 million station wrapped up last month.

“With as much as we pay for transportation ... it should be in better shape,” said Natalie Hyde, 32, a Queens rider.

As amNewYork reported Tuesday, water has stained the walls and caused 20 tiles to fall of the $527 million South Ferry subway station, which opened less than a year ago.

The old Cortlandt Street station was built with limited drainage, and workers will eventually reinforce the waterproofing in tandem with construction at the World Trade Center site, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said.

At the LIRR terminal, the MTA has been fixing “minor leaks,” and keeps a contractor on call to slap on grouting when needed, Ortiz said. The station wasn’t entirely rebuilt in the rehab, and leaks are a fact of life with a system dating back a century, he said.

“This underscores the argument that we need to keep investing in our system,” he said.
Rhea Mahbubani contributed to this story.

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