Perhaps. A confidential December 2007 report commissioned by developer Forest City Ratner and provided to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) stated that portions of two tunnels were in critical condition and required repair "in the immediate future" and the "near future."
The graphic at right below shows (via thick black bars) several heavily deteriorated steel beams in the tunnel ceiling plan of the 2/3 trains running west along Flatbush Avenue between Dean Street and the Pacific Street/Fifth Avenue intersection. This borders the arena block.
There's no proof that work on the Atlantic Yards site directly threatens the subway system, but Forest City Ratner wouldn't have had the report prepared were there no reason for concern.
"These remedial actions, which are funded by the New York City Transit operating budget, will continue as necessary to ensure the continued safe operation of these tunnels," he added.
Donovan indicated that the Stantec report--which I received from an anonymous source--was no surprise: "The issuance of the December 2007 report from outside engineers has not caused work plans to be adjusted. Based on their own inspections, New York City Transit maintenance engineers submitted a profile for a capital rehabilitation project that would remedy these conditions for the long term."
No repairs scheduled
When might such work be done? "Such a project, which would involve temporary subway service disruptions, has not been included in the draft proposed 2010-2014 Capital Plan," Donovan said. "There are numerous repair and reconstruction needs in the subway system, and areas exhibiting worse conditions need to be prioritized. Although not included in the capital plan at this time, projects can always be reprioritized within the Capital Program should it become necessary."
The Post reported last week that the MTA's Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee in 2008 gave 16 stations an "F" grade for water-leakage problems, but only three are scheduled for renovations over the next five years. (I couldn't find the PCAC report.)
Still, unclear is the extent of potential service disruptions and how they might affect the transit hub at Atlantic Avenue/Pacific Street should the Atlantic Yards arena open. Right now the best-case scenario for an arena opening is 2012, which would be well before the 2014 date of the next capital plan.
The Executive Summary begins (emphases added):
Over the last year, Stantec (formerly Vollmer Associates, LLP) conducted several inspections of the IRT and BMT NYC transit structures (Route No. 12, Sections 1 and 1B) in the area located between approximately 250 to 500 feet south of the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues in Brooklyn. These inspections were performed in non-active areas as well as along the active tunnel tracks to the extent allowed by NYCT.
Similarly poor conditions were observed in the 505' portion ... of the IRT tunnel carrying the Northbound 2,3 trains that was inspected by Stantec during 2007. The inspected portion of the structure was found to be in critical condition and while the structure is not in danger of imminent failure, many repairs are required in the immediate future, as the structure will continue to deteriorate given the active water infiltration issues that were observed. The highly corroded roof beams and plates account for most of the required repairs. Approximately 33% of the inspected structure requires repair, and it is imperative that these repairs are effectuated in the near future.