Gallery: MTA Exploring Subway Plug Balloons and Lockdown System as Prev...

MTA equipment that was damaged in Hurricane Sandy, Photo by Jill Colvin

After superstorm Sandy left the NYC subway system in shambles, the MTA has been considering a number of options to prevent mass transit damage in future storms. So far, innovations like flood gates that seal subway entrances and giant balloons that inflate to block underground tunnels are at the top of their list. In a recent press conference, New York City Transit president Thomas Prendergast informed New Yorkers that the MTA is weighing several measures - from better sand bagging to adding more pump trains and protective gear - to create a viable plan for the future.

The damage done to the subways during Hurricane Sandy was devastating. The tunnels experienced floor to ceiling flooding, and equipment was heavily eroded after being exposed to millions of gallons of salt water. To prevent what happened this time around from occurring again, the MTA is looking into a steel, lock-down system that could stop water from entering the tunnels and reduce the need for sand bags. They also have their eye on a giant balloon system that inflates inside the tunnel, blocking water from streaming in. The balloon plug method is currently being tested at West Virginia University.

Regardless of what changes are put in place, the MTA will need the help of private, local, and federal funds. Currently, Prendergast is convinced the easiest and cheapest way to strengthen the subway’s storm response is by adding to its fleet of pump trains, saying “If we could get two or three more trains that were pump trains… then by God we’d do that.”

Lets hope the city realizes the importance of funding these measures before the next storm hits.

via DNA info

images © Jill Colvin

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