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Hudson Yards station flaws draws angry reaction from MTA board

A commuters exits at street level at the

A commuters exits at street level at the recently opened $2 billion Hudson Yards 7 train station Monday, March 21, 2016, on the West Side of Manhattan. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Members of the MTA board expressed anger Monday that the newly opened $2.4 billon Hudson Yards subway station on the West Side of Manhattan has a leaky roof and no one told them about it.

Fernando Ferrer, chairman of the MTA’s Transit and Bus Committee, said at a public meeting at MTA headquarters the agency’s staff had blindsided the board by failing to keep them informed.

Ferrer said he had seen the roof leaks, an inoperative escalator and shuttered bathrooms when he walked though the station earlier this month, but first learned of the extent of the problem when a New York paper wrote a story about the station a week ago.

“In reading the reports, one thing struck me: that the MTA knew in 2013. I don’t know that is true or not, but I warrant you no member of this committee knew and no board member knew. That is a problem I expect will be addressed,” Ferrer said.

“This board not knowing is a real problem,” Ferrer said.

Michael Horodniceanu, the president of MTA Capital Construction, said he agreed with Ferrer’s comments, but added the leaks would appear and disappeared at monthslong intervals.

“We have a warranty and a bond from the contractor to fix everything,” Horodniceanu said. “They were fixing it and it would reappear.”

He said the cost of the roof repairs would be covered by the contractor, Yonkers Contracting, and that the escalator and the bathrooms were back in service.

Horodniceanu was attempting to explain the complexity of waterproofing to board member Jonathan A. Ballan, saying “water travels,” when Ballan cut him off. “Everyone who owns a house knows that,” Ballon said.

Board member Allen Cappelli said he was “not at all satisfied with the answers I’ve gotten here today.”

At a different committee meeting later Monday, MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said he would have the agency’s independent engineer conduct a review for the board, a spokesman said.

Board member Charles Moerdler came to the defense of the agency’s staff, saying that waterproofing was a difficult part of any construction, “and to say that people can anticipate it is to whistle in the dark, and I think that’s wrong.”

The station opened last September, giving the far West Side of Manhattan a public transit link, the Number 7 Flushing train, that could spur more development in the industrial area just south of the Lincoln Tunnel.

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