Feds Give SEPTA $87 Million for Infrastructure

Part of effort to rebuild from Hurricane Sandy, prepare for next storm.

The Federal Transit Administration is giving $87 million for infrastrature repair, the agency announced Monday — part of a broader $3.59 billion effort to recover from Hurricane Sandy and prepare for the region’s next big storm.

“While no one can predict the future with certainty, we believe these investments will help to harden transit facilities against future storms that Mother Nature dishes out,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a press release, “supporting President Obama’s call to address climate change now and reducing the risk of service disruptions and future damage to some of the nation’s busiest rail and bus services.”

Among the grants given Monday:

• New Jersey Transit will receive approximately $1.3 billion to reduce the risk of flooding to Hoboken rail yard and the city by filling a deteriorated inlet inside the rail yard; construct a rail storage and re-inspection facility located outside the floodplain that could be used to safely store vehicles in an emergency; and replace the aged and deteriorated Raritan River Drawbridge damaged by Hurricane Sandy with a new bridge that is less vulnerable to storm surge and flooding.

• The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will receive approximately $86.7 million to build an alternate system control center to ensure continuity of operations in case a major storm knocks out the system’s central control facility; stabilize the slopes of several commuter railroad embankments to reduce the risk of rockfall or landslides after severe rainfall; and improve flood protection to protect commuter rail lines.

The Inquirer has a more detailed breakdown of the SEPTA money. New York and Massachusetts also received grants under the program.