The damage done by Hurricane Sandy to Manhattan's South Ferry-Whitehall subway station was so extensive, repairs will take two years, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said last week.
The station opened in 2009; it cost $527 million to build.
But just 400 feet from the water and 80 feet underground, it was especially vulnerable to flooding.
According to the MTA, Sandy sent 15 million gallons of salt water into the station, destroying electrical and mechanical systems.
At a December Senate hearing, then Metropolitan Transit Authority Commissioner Joe Lhota said South Ferry-Whitehall "was completely destroyed" by the hurricane. At the same hearing, Senator Chuck Schumer said the estimated cost of restoration is $500 million.
To provide service to the 10,000 daily riders who move through the area in the meantime, the MTA will reopen the old South Ferry station. That work will cost $2 million and should be complete next month.
But it will be a disappointing substitute. The old platforms are short (they will accommodate only five cars of a 10-car train) and require movable platform edge extenders, which must be refurbished.
The MTA hopes to recoup the large bill Sandy left behind through reimbursements from the Federal Transit Administration.
Here's what the South Ferry-Whitehall Station looked like after Sandy:
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