The Montague Tube, which carries the R train between Manhattan and Brooklyn, was flooded with 27 million gallons of saltwater and remained closed for 53 days after Hurricane Sandy. Soon after the train service was restored, it became evident that the flooding caused permanent damage to the signal system and power network. The agency shut down the tunnel so that a joint venture, led by OHL North America company, Judlau Contracting, Inc. (Judlau) could perform major tunnel, track and electrical replacements on an accelerated basis. The project was completed a month early and under budget.
The team worked in three shifts, 24/7 to meet the aggressive completion schedule. The scope of work included demolition and replacement of damaged duct banks, construction of circuit breaker houses, installation of traction power and communications cables, structural rehabilitation of the tunnel’s lining and replacement of cast iron ring bolts, track rehabilitation , installation of a digitized code call system, and replacement of damaged parts and components at the Montague Furman and Broadway Park Row substations. The team also reconstructed the structures that house the traction power equipment, constructed a fan plant and pump rooms, and installed track breakers. Judlau also refitted the tunnel with 1.8 track miles of lighting fixtures and other equipment to address safety concerns.
The team worked closely with NYCT to develop innovative solutions to the problems encountered during construction, including using a gantry crane system to load demolition debris onto work trains within the very compact working environment. The project also required moving significant amounts of materials to and from the site—cement mixers traveled along the rail to deliver almost 9,000 cubic yards of new concrete and remove 5.5 miles of duct bank materials. The team used a hi-rail cement truck to pour concrete at various locations quickly, properly and without the need for multiple pumps and chutes to pour the concrete from street-level openings.