Letter to the Editor: Letter Writer Made it Difficult to Determine if MTA Projects Are Needed

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In response to Larry Penner’s letter to the editor last week (“Something isn’t Adding Up With the MTA’s Cost for Two Key Projects”), the author knows transit. Not everyone else does. It would be nice if the author kept this in mind when he writes his opinion pieces.

The author discusses a proposed MTA project to work on the Park Avenue viaduct. He mentions work done on the viaduct from 1995 to 1998. The author asks, “What was the anticipated useful life? Did Metro-North adequately fund and follow the maintenance plan for this asset so it would reach its useful life? Does this new project duplicate previous work?” 

It would be nice if the author provided even a rudimentary set of details. I am not a civil engineer or a transit expert, but common sense has me asking several questions. What is the normal useful life for a project such as this? Pre-COVID this viaduct was extremely busy with Metro-North traffic every day. What effect does 22 years of having trains rumble over the viaduct about 20 hours a day have on the viaduct and its structural integrity? What type of maintenance is required? What type of maintenance is helpful but not required? Did the MTA provide any of this maintenance?

When and if the author chooses to provide details is when I can conclude how necessary this project is.

Nat Weiner
Bronx, N.Y.

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