Twenty minutes after its long-awaited debut, the new South Ferry subway station was closed after a water main burst near Canal Street.
The first train left the new station at 12:05 p.m.; just 20 minutes later came the announcement that water was on the tracks at Canal Street, some 30 blocks uptown. One more train left before service was halted entirely.
The disruption lasted for about three and a half hours and tangled subway service on the West Side of Manhattan, in Brooklyn and the Bronx.
The cast iron water main was nearly 140 years old, reports the Times. It caused a section of Varick Street, just below Canal, to buckle, which prompted the flood on the tracks.
The $527 million new South Ferry digs was badly needed, as the old platform only had room for five cars (which was fine, when it opened in 1905), and a creaking platform extension had to cover the gap between the train and the platform.
Alas, one railfan (a “foamer”, in train-lover parlance) lamented the overhaul.
Writes William Neuman of the Times:
“They’re killing every part of New York,” said Jonathan Fuchs, 44, a lawyer who lives in Brooklyn and who stood in the old station taking photographs. He pointed out the terra-cotta tiles with a bas relief of a sailboat and the decorative tops of station columns. “I’m going to start crying,” he said.
Fuchs did, in fact, cry, which caused another flood and a three-hour delay in service.