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Fix & Fortify – Flood and Functionality Test July 21, 2016

Mark Groce
: I'm Mark Groce and you're listening to a Fix & Fortify podcast on Transit Trax, New York City Transit's podcast service.

Mark Groce: On the night of October, 29, 2012, the 14-foot flood surge generated by super storm sandy inundated low-lying areas of New York City, flooding subway stations in lower Manhattan as well as nine under river subway tunnels.  Filled with salt water, the links were so severely damaged that four years later, extensive rebuilding efforts remain underway with years of work ahead. One piece of infrastructure destroyed by the storm waters was the brand new South Ferry Terminal station. It was filled with salt water to a depth of more than 50 feet.

Mark Groce: Since the storm, hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs and fortification have been made. Preventative measures have also been taken to make it less likely that the system will suffer similar damage in the future. Among the more impressive measures is the installation of new flood-proof doors designed to prevent floodwaters from entering otherwise vulnerable stations. The MTA is performing a series of extensive flood and functionality tests to ensure that these doors will stand up to the tremendous pressures created by storm-driven floodwaters.

Freejoy Alexander is the project engineer for JUDLAU.

Freejoy Alexander: So there are three things going on at this site right now. One is the functionality test at entrance three. The last one is the big entrance one flood test being performed up at the south end of entrance one. The functionality test is basically showing you how the flood doors work in case of an emergency. The MOW comes in and closes the door, so they need the information on how they can engage or pressurize the doors. That’s the functionality test.

Freejoy Alexander: The Leak Test is basically forming up on the front of the engaged door and then filling it up with water to the full height. Then we have to hold it for 15 minutes once it’s up to full height. Then we check at the back end to see if there’s any water leak coming in. If there’s none, we pass it. If not, we have to retest it at a later stage to actually make it pass.

Mark Groce: This project is expected to be completed by mid - 2017. During this time the doors will undergo a battery of tests. In the aftermath of the most extraordinary natural disaster to hit New York City in the last 100 years, New York City Transit is not just looking to rebuild, their mission is to Fix and Fortify.

Mark Groce: For Transit Trax I'm Mark Groce thanks for listening and thanks for riding with New York City Transit.