Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 11:48 a.m.
Good reef!! The city's subway cars are doing something other than pissing off passengers.
All along the Eastern Seaboard, old NYC subway cars are being dumped into the Atlantic to build reefs for various ocean creatures.
Take the algae train!
The latest dumping ground is Murrells Inlet, around Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Launch day is Friday, reports Kelly Marshall Fuller of the Myrtle Beach Sun News:
A load of trolley cars from New York are set to arrive in Murrells Inlet this week - to be dumped in the ocean.
The 41 subway cars, which are at least 60 feet long each, will float on a 300-foot barge before becoming an artificial reef, said Anna Martin, spokeswoman for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
The deployment, scheduled for Friday, is the first time subway cars have been used to make a reef in Murrells Inlet, Martin said. The reef will be about 25 miles offshore.
Yeah, trolley cars.
Anyway, other NYC subway cars are now becoming reefs off the Virginia coast after a dumping late last month.
From Scott Harper's June 28 story in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot:
About 6 miles off Chincoteague on the Eastern Shore, a specially rigged crane dropped the 16-ton cars, one by one, off a barge and into about 65 feet of water. The impact each time created a loud smack and sent thick spray into the air.
The steel shells, stripped of their doors, windows, seats, plastics and asbestos, joined surplus Army tanks and 50 other rail cars from New York that had been similarly deployed here several years ago as part of Virginia's man-made reefing program.
Five more loads of subway cars will be sent to the ocean bottom in the coming years, under a contract between the state and the New York City Transit Authority. Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, South Carolina and Georgia also utilize New York's old subway cars in this manner.
The transit authority saves money by not having to scrap or landfill its obsolete cars, and Virginia gets a cheap - if unlikely - material to create marine habitat and attract fish, scuba divers and sports fishermen to its coast.
Worth diving just to see if there are any straphanger skeletons down there.