Saturday, March 29, 2008

March 29, 2008 - An Accident

Today was not a good day at the work site -- even with the sunny weather and cool temperatures.

A man was seriously injured when a large metal storage box full of steel pipes fell over - while he was working on top of it. By chance I was standing across the corner and watched the accident as it happened.

Here's what I saw.

At about 1:15 in the afternoon, on Saturday March 29th, I stopped at the SW corner of 95th and Second Avenue to observe the work being performed across the street. The contractors had set-up a large rotary drilling machine at this location.

At this moment, the drilling machine was being used to pick up ("extract" might be a better word) long sections of steel pipe from a large metal storage box. (The storage box and the pipe are visible in the two images below - on the other side of the worker in the yellow vest.)

95th, SW corner - looking East
(This picture was taken at about 1:30 PM - about a minute before the accident.)

This is the same image - cropped so that the work area is easier to see.

For some reason the metal storage box, and the pipes inside it, became unstable and it tipped over and fell to the right -- while the worker was still on top of storage box.

Work at this location was immediately stopped and the machine was shut down. One man yelled "man down" to his co-workers south on the avenue and many men came running.

This picture was taken a few moments after the accident.
(Note: this image and the next one are in black & white only because I mistakenly reset the camera to B&W as I fumbled to take my camera out again.)

Many workers attended to the injured man while others were on their cell phones, calling for medical assistance I assume.

A few minutes later a New York Fire Department ambulance pulled up to the SW corner of 96th (a block away.) A worker then ran across the street to show the ambulance where the injured man was located.

An ambulance arrived and the medical personnel immediately attended to the injured man.

About 10 minutes later, he was placed in the ambulance and taken to the hospital. (I don't know the severity of the injuries, but I'm going to assume that they were serious based on the speed at which the ambulance workers and construction workers were moving.)

In this image, taken after the accident, workers are seen here inspecting and reviewing the accident site.

And here's a better shot that clearly shows the storage box and pipes on the ground.

At about 2.20 PM another machine (on the right) was brought in to lift the storage box full of pipes off the ground.

94th, SE corner - looking north

A note:
Some might wonder why I don't have more images of the accident and the injured man. There are two reasons for this. One, I was really quite shocked when I saw the accident take place right before my eyes. At that moment I was thinking more about the condition of the injured worker than I was about taking pictures. And the second reason is that I decided, out of respect for the injured man, I wouldn't take any pictures of him.

Update - March 31, 2008
The artist Dominick Santise, who has masterfully captured some of the construction activity with his drawings, happened upon another accident near the work site in late February.

You can view his drawings, and read an account of the accident that he observed, on his blog "Life on Second" which is reachable on this link:

Update - April 10, 2008
Here's a close-up picture, taken this evening, of an identical pipe storage box -- exactly like the one that tipped over during the accident. I don't think that this is the same pipe storage box, since once source has told me that the storage box that was in the accident was moved off-site after the accident.

On the Monday after the accident I observed workers welding this pipe storage box onto a large steel plates. (The steel plates makes the storage box more stable -- i.e. reducing the chance that it will accidental tip over again.)

between 93rd & 94th - east side of the avenue

March 29, 2008 - part 2

I was surprised by how busy and active the work site was today - a Saturday. There must have been over 50 men and women working on the site today between 91st and 95th streets.

For the first time (that I've seen) they even had the big rotary drilling machine working on a Saturday. Maybe the MTA has ramped up the work so as to not fall father behind.

95th, NE corner - looking south
Here the Bauer rotary drilling rig is lowering a very long steel
I-beam down a shaft that has just been drilled.

This I-beam, I believe, will form the outer edge of the tunnel boring machine launch box and later the new 96th street station. The length of this I-beam gives you a good idea how deep down the launch box will be.

94th, near the SE corner - looking west
Workers here are moving large pieces of lumber. This wood is used to shore up the trenches that are being dig out for utility lines and pipes that are being relocated.

93rd, SE corner - looking south
The trench at this location is about 10-15 feet deep.

92nd, NE corner - looking north
Here a worker is cutting off the tops of wooden piles that are used to shore up the trench walls. I suppose that the trenches at this location have been covered for safety reasons because of of their depth.

92nd - looking north
Here workers are digging a trench (near what is left of the sidewalk) by hand. As the workers dig they place the loose dirt in a large canvas sack that is then lifted (as shown) out of the trench by the machine.

The canvas sack (full of dirt) is then dumped in a truck and the dirt is then trucked away.

Note: The following 2 images were taken on March 8, 2008:

The front door of Delizia Pizza on the SE corner of 92nd during a late winter rain storm.
(note the canvas sack full of dirt on the left.)

The 180 degree image below, which is actually 6 individual images that have been "stitched" together, was taken while standing in the doorway of Delizia Pizza.

S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . W . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N

Note: This is a stitched image. Left-click on the image for a larger view.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

March 6, 2008

A few spurious editorial comments on this chilly Thursday
evening in March.

As some people may have noticed, I've now come in contact with Second Avenue Business Association. (SABA)

This grassroots organization, made up of local business owners in the Launch Box construction area, came together late last year to call attention to the serious impact that the construction is having on their businesses.

The SABA quickly got the attention of numerous political leaders, including Assemblymen Jonathan Bing and Micah Kellner, Council members Daniel Garodnick and Jessica Lappin, State Senator Krueger, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, the Office of the Mayor -- and the MTA and Skanska (the lead contractor.)

SABA members meet weekly with representatives of MTA Capital Construction, Skanska, DOT and the Office of the Mayor. (You can find the minutes of their meetings in the right hand column in this blog.)

One member of the SABA provided a wonderful overview of the group's efforts at last Monday's Community Board 8 Second Avenue Subway (SAS) Task Force Meeting. Afterwards I heard some in the auditorium wonder out loud how it was that they (the SABA) had made so much progress so quickly, while others in the community seemingly struggled to get their voices and concerns addressed.

I've also been struck by how organized the business owners are, with their weekly meetings -- while members of the community-at-large have to rely on the CB8 Second Avenue Task Force, which at the moment only seems to meet every 3 months!

- - -

This is a bit off topic... but here are two web links that I became aware of today with pictures of the construction activity in and around one of the MTA's other big projects - East Side Access:

Why is this relevant you might ask (unless you're really interested in tunnel boring machines) -- because, in about a year or so, this is close to what it will look like inside the 2nd Avenue Subway Launch Box and under 2nd Avenue.

BUT -- the big difference is that the 2nd Avenue Subway Launch Box will be decked over so you won't be able to see what's going on deep down (80 feet) at the bottom of the hole.

Oh, and in case your were wondering what exactly a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) looks like...


- - -

Last Friday morning at about 7:30 AM, on my way to the subway, I stopped to take a few pictures while standing at the corner of 94th and 2nd.

A woman walked by me and then stopped, and turned to me, and said, "are you the guy with the subway blog?"

I said, "Yes. You've seen it?"

She paused and then said, "You're too nice." We had a brief conversation and then I hurried on my way.

Am I too nice? (with respect to this Blog?)

My view is that I'm not trying to be nice, or mean, or confrontational, or difficult, or one-sided, and I'm really not even trying to make some point.

My goal is simple -- I want to show others, using this medium, what is going on in my neighborhood and I want to do this in a fair and objective way.

- - -

Finally -- the DEP is scheduled to shut off the water, as part of this project, to my building at 10 PM tonight. (As of this hour, 11:40 PM, the tap is dry.)

They say it will be back on by 6 AM...

Second Avenue subway Second Ave subway 2nd Avenue subway 2nd Ave subway Launch Box Subway Launch Box New York Launch Box subway construction

Sunday, March 2, 2008

March 2, 2008

92nd, in the middle of 2nd avenue - looking E
In front of Delizia
Note the large concrete & asphalt saw - on the right.

92nd, NE corner - looking S
A maze of fencing has sprung up at this location in the past week.

92nd, near the SE corner - looking NW

same location - 2 days earlier
This image, and the one before it, give you an idea how quickly work is progressing.

91st - looking N
Traffic (3-4 lanes depending on time of day, and day of the week) now flows on the west side of 2nd avenue, while construction work progresses on the east side of the avenue.

another view - from the SW corner of 91st

94th - looking S
Note the 4 old brick foundations that have recently been uncovered in the center of 2nd avenue between 93rd and 94th. These very well could be original support foundations from the old 2nd Avenue elevated railway line.

a closer view of one of the brick foundations.
Note the bolts(?) on the top that appear to have been cut off. One might guess that these bolts were used to affix a vertical beam to the brick foundation -- like the beams shown in the photo below.

Update - 03/06/2008
These old foundations are now gone...

93rd(?) & 2nd avenue - looking N
The 2nd Avenue El - 92nd street station - ca. 1940

Image source: