Retrofits to Reduce Subway Flooding, courtesy of MTA New York

Every day without rain, the MTA pumps 8 million gallons of groundwater out of their NYC subway system. According to NYC officials, for every 1” of rain, over 1 billion gallons of stormwater are generated. Thus flooding poses a huge risk to the city’s infrastructure. Raising subway vents and entrances reduces the probability of catastrophic flooding. Since 2007, 25 locations have been retrofitted and nearly $90 million dollars has been allocated to this initiative. Thirty stair pads have been installed at entrances, and over 5,300 linear feet of ventilation gratings have been raised. Many of the ventilation grates serve a dual function, such as a bench or a bike rack. In addition to sustaining business continuity, retrofits to reduce subway flooding also help mitigate GHG emissions by reducing energy usage to drain subways.

Ernest Tollerson, Director, Environmental Sustainability & Compliance, MTA, New York State, presented some adaptation images of retrofits to reduce subway flooding at the November 2011 workshop, Climate Adaptation & Transportation: Identifying Information and Assistance Needs (EESI-CCAP-NOAA).

This post is part of CCAP’s blog series, “What Does Climate Resilience Look Like,” which highlights adaptation images from around the world addressing a variety of climate impacts and resilience solutions. Have a climate resilience image to share? Please send us the photo by twitter, Facebook, or email. (Please include the Who What Where: Who took the photo? What is the adaptation technique? Where is it located?) We are especially interested in examples that advance multiple goals such as GHG emission reductions and sustainable economic development.

Corrections made to this post on August 16, 2012.


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