The anniversary of Superstorm Sandy has come and gone, and an independent review of how New Jersey’s transportation agency responded to the storm has yet to be released, despite officials’ assurances that it would be completed months ago.
New Jersey Transit’s rolling stock and infrastructure suffered more than $400 million in damage from the Oct. 29, 2012, storm, including more than $100 million in damages to rail cars and locomotives that were left in rail yards in Hoboken and Kearny. The agency has been heavily criticized for not clearing the yards before the storm.
At a board meeting in December, NJ Transit executive director James Weinstein said the agency’s response to the storm would be the subject of a review by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service.
Another prominent regional agency recently submitted to a review by an outside entity that took far less time. In response to a controversy over toll hikes in late 2011, the governors of New York and New Jersey ordered an audit of the Port Authority. An auditor was approved that November, and by January, it had released a 55-page report — the first of two — that was highly critical of the agency.
In the year since Sandy, Weinstein has defended the decision to store the rail cars and locomotives at the Hoboken and Kearny yards since models showed an 80- to 90-percent chance that the yards wouldn’t be flooded.