Transportation System Needs Repairs After Sandy

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
February 1, 2013

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NJ Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson (photo by Phil Gregory)

New Jersey officials are not sure how much of the $50 billion in federal Sandy aid will be used to help the state’s transportation system recover from storm damage..

Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson says rail cars, substations, tracks, and highways have to be repaired or replaced.

He says all the sand the storm pushed ashore has compromised drainage systems along roadways.

“You can’t take a roto-rooter and put it, sand does not come out of a drain and then they start to collapse if you try to do something like that, and it’s almost like concrete. The sand once it gets into the drains is like concrete. So we’re digging them up and we’ve got sinkholes around them we temporarily fill. So we’ve got a lot of work.

Simpson says many projects need to be done to improve the rail system.

“We’re waiting for a couple of substations that still need to be repaired that were still out where we’ve got temporary power.  Obviously we want to take our existing substations that supply all the power and we want to raise them and elevate them including our emergency operations room which was flooded in Kearny. So we want to look to lift that.”

Simpson hopes New Jersey won’t get hit by a storm like Sandy again, but he says improvements must be made to the transportation system so the state is ready.


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