Gov. Cuomo announced last week that A train subway service will be restored to the Rockaways on May 30, just over seven months after Hurricane Sandy destroyed tracks across Jamaica Bay and seriously damaged two stations.
“Superstorm Sandy devastated the entire MTA network like no other storm, but the MTA did a remarkable job of restoring service following the storm and at the end of this month, the A line to the Rockaways will be up and running,” Cuomo said in a statement issued Thursday morning.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is spending $250 million on other Sandy-related repairs and upgrades to lessen the impact of future storms on transportation, tunnels and repair effort.
The storm hit the New York City area on Oct. 29, leaving hundreds of thousands without power, damaging thousands of homes and obliterating entire sections of the Rockaways and Staten Island.
It destroyed the Broad Channel rail bridge, washed out more than 1,500 feet of track, completely flooded two stations on the A line and required massive repair or replacement of signals, switches and wiring.
Some subway stations in Lower Manhattan remained out of commission for weeks since stations and tunnels throughout the system flooded.
The Queens Midtown and Brooklyn Battery tunnels into Manhattan also flooded.
State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) said both he and his constituents are hailing Cuomo’s announcement.
“It’s another sign that they’re getting things back to normal,” Addabbo said Tuesday in a telephone interview.
The senator said the trains have been missed, and not just by those who found them the easiest or fastest way to get to and from work.
He said with summer coming they will also make the Rockaways’ beaches and other amenities a more viable option for visitors.
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, who was temporarily forced to relocate his district office because of the storm, said he remains “cautiously optimistic” about the MTA hitting its target date.
“The MTA has been doing a good job of keeping people in the loop throughout the recovery process,” he said, adding that the Rockaways and southern Queens will continue to struggle for the time being.
Addabbo, who has long advocated ferry service as a travel option between the peninsula and Manhattan, said ferry service to and from Downtown and Midtown that was instituted last fall should be maintained and possibly expanded.
“It was beneficial for people when the trains weren’t running, but it’s also a quick and pleasurable ride,” he said. “If we need to subsidize it at the city or state level, I’d like to look into that.”
In recent interviews with the Queens Chronicle, Council Speaker and Democratic mayoral candidate Christine Quinn said ferry service should continue, while one of her opponents, former Comptroller Bill Thompson, said it should continue at least long enough to evaluate ferries’ long-term feasibility.