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Leaking ceilings at Port Authority worry commuters

NEW YORK — The pictures sent to PIX11 News show a view of the Port Authority Bus Terminal that most commuters never see: looking up at the ceiling. There are leaks, leaks and more leaks.

They are covered with plastic sheeting into which water accumulates and travels down through hoses into the buckets below. We took a look for ourselves and found areas where parts of the ceiling are missing and there is nothing covering the gaping holes.

One of those is above an area where commuters line up to buy tickets. Another is in the path of commuters on their way to an escalator.

Commuter Celeste Hoppey-Broder, who sent us the photos, said she's worried.

"It looks as though the ceiling is ready to collapse. I’m just really concerned about everyone’s safety," she said.

A spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey told us:

"The ceiling is inspected on a regular basis and is safe. The water is seeping through small cracks, but those small cracks are not compromising the safety of the ceiling.

"There no question that the Port Authority Bus Terminal must be replaced and that’s why we are aggressively working on a project that will yield a new bus facility.”

But Hoppey-Broder said they can't wait.

"We can’t wait until a new building is built," she said. "We have to address this now. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

The Port Authority said it is taking action and "installing a waterproof membrane on the bus level roadways."

One of the causes of the leaks is the snow that falls off the buses and comes into the terminal on the upper levels. That melting snow seeps through cracks in the roadway to the floors below.

As for the many existing leaks on the main floors, the spokesman said the Port Authority is “making targeted repairs to mitigate the leaks that have occurred.”

However, commuters and employees inside the terminal said the situation is getting worse, not better.

“It’s a big mess,” said one commuter, who called the leaky ceiling “horrifying.”

For now, the 250,000 daily commuters who use the Port Authority Bus Terminal are forced to navigate around the many buckets and be wary of water on the floor. What a Shame!

If you have a story for me, send an email to whatashame@pix11.com.