Howard Beach will be the end of the line on the A-train for months during the MTA’s restoration from Hurricane Sandy’s mighty blow.
The agency did not say how long repairs would take other than “several months.”
The A train, which was extended as far as Howard Beach Sunday morning, normally runs all the way to Mott Street in Far Rockaway.
“The MTA understands how train service is a lifeline for Rockaways residents,” the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said Monday. “The North Channel train bridge over Jamaica Bay was severely damaged.”
The MTA said the A and S line tracks, electrical substations, signals, switches and third rail power components also suffered extensive flooding and saltwater corrosion during the tidal surge. A 2 1/2-mile stretch of track includes areas where the track bed was washed away, leaving tracks hanging in mid-air and perimeter safety fences severely damaged.
“All must be rebuilt or repaired after first removing up to 3 feet of assorted marine debris,” the MTA said. “Planning and conducting reconstruction will be delayed by the challenges of accessing the worksite by water and winter weather.”
A trains run from Howard Beach-John F. Kennedy International Airport and Ozone Park-Lefferts Boulevard to 207th Street in Manhattan.
Free shuttle buses are running 24 hours a day between Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue and Howard Beach-JFK, where riders can connect with A trains running to 207th Street in Inwood.
Q22, Q35, Q52, Q53 and Q113 buses are other alternatives. Visit mta.info for schedules.
“While we cannot yet predict when A and S train service will return to pre-storm levels, customers should check mta.info and services advisories in stations for updates,” the MTA said.
A temporary Rockaway ferry began service from 108th and Beach Channel Drive to Manhattan Monday.
“The people of the Rockaway Peninsula were especially hard hit by this storm and restoring transportation service to them and to Howard Beach is a priority for my administration,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 718-260-4536.
©2012 Community News Group
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