Big fix coming for Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel

The Feds will be footing the bill to repair Superstorm Sandy-related damage to the Hugh L. Carey-Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has allocated a $336 million lump sum payment through its Alternative Procedures program for the repair and restoration of both the Battery Tunnel and the Queens-Midtown Tunnel, both under the control of the MTA.

Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced on December 4 that the federal funding would cover permanent repairs to the tunnels that were collectively filled with 80 million gallons of water after the superstorm.

“This is great news for those living in Brooklyn and Queens,” said Gillibrand. “Superstorm Sandy tore through our state and Brooklyn was hit hard. I have continued to push for funding to help our communities pick up the pieces and I am pleased Brooklyn and Queens will be receiving funding to repair such important infrastructure.”

The Alternative Procedures program pertains to debris removal, emergency work, repair, restoration and replacement of disaster-damaged public and private facilities, according to FEMA’s website. The award through this program will provide a total of $336,214,674 in federal funding to the MTA for both tunnels—the Brooklyn-Battery serving 46,000 vehicles daily and the Queens-Midtown serving 70,000.

“This particular grant will repair the architectural, mechanical and electrical components of the tunnels,” said Michael Wade, a FEMA spokesperson stationed at the Sandy Recovery Office in New York. “In addition to the repairs, we’re going to be doing some mitigation matters as well, which will make [the tunnels] more resilient to any possible future storms that will come through.”

“We all remember the devastating effect that Superstorm Sandy had not only on our homes but also on our infrastructure,” added Schumer. “These tunnels help thousands of passengers commute in and out of the city and so, we must make sure they are protected from future damage.”

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