A team of engineers hired by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) Metro-North Railroad is inspecting and assessing the catastrophic flood damage to the Port Jervis Line. Meanwhile buses are providing alternative service for the 2,300 people who normally use the line each weekday.
Significant damage to the line identified last week following Hurricane Irene by an aerial inspection includes up to 40 washout locations, including three washouts each at least a thousand feet long near Sloatsburg, a 400-foot section of track washed out just south of Sloatsburg, significant damage to several railroad bridges and exposure of what had been a subterranean signal cable.
Following through on MTA Chairman Jay Walder's emergency powers invoked to expedite rebuilding the devastated line, work began last week on an on-the-ground assessment of damage from the storm and a final condition assessment report is expected by the end of the month.
AECOM began a conditions analysis of track and structures along 14 of the hardest hit miles of the right-of-way as well as a hydrology study of the area. Their sub-consultant, Systra, is assessing all railroad communications and signal systems, while M.G. McLaren will assess damage to the rail bridges in the affected area.
AECOM was issued a Notice to Proceed for emergency work, not-to exceed $500,000.
Metro-North is studying its options to improve service.