Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June 25, 2008

Yesterday the NY State Senate amended and passed it's version of Assembly Bill A01594, a bill that establishes a Second Avenue Subway construction economic development grant program. (The Senate version is now referenced as S8154A.)

The Assembly version of this bill was previously passed on June 19th by a vote of 136 to 2.

The complete text of the amended bill can be found
on this link.

My understanding is that the Senate version has now been returned to the Assembly where it will wait for the Assembly's concurrence on the Senate's amendments. Only then will it be transmitted to the governor for his signature or veto. How quickly this will happen, now that the Assembly is in recess, is unknown at the moment.

And even if this bill does become law, it's not clear when funds would be made available to the effected small businesses in the current SAS construction zone between 91st and 95th streets. As things stand now, it's likely that these grants will come too late for some of these shop owners.

- - -

And in other legislative news -

Also on June 24th, the NY State Assembly passed,
by a vote of 140 to 0, Bill A10924 -- a bill that creates tax abatements for certain commercial properties located within the Second Avenue subway project area. This bill has been referred to the Senate, which is now in recess.

- - -

And don't miss the insightful posting, "Rising costs shelve third Second Ave. Subway track at 72nd" that Ben Kabak just posted on the Second Ave. Sagas site.

It seems short sited to me to shrink the new 72nd Street station (where the Q line will eventually intersect with the new T line) from a three-track and two-platform to a two-track and one-platform station.

The MTA only has one chance to do this right, since it will be nearly impossible to ever expand the 72nd Street station once it has been placed into service. Imagine where we would be, as example, if the Interborough Rapid Transit Company hadn't had the foresight to build the Lexington Avenue line with four tracks.

- - -

And lastly, MTA Capital Construction posted this notice on their Second Avenue Subway "Three Week Look Ahead" web page the other day:

BE ADVISED: Con Ed, Empire City Subway and Verizon may be performing cable and gas line work outside regular SAS construction Hours. Some of this work will take place on 2nd Ave between 91st and 95th St and will be intermittently carried out in support of the Second Avenue Subway.

I'm sure this was put up in response to complaints about work taking place at the site outside of the official work hours -- that the MTA and it's contractors are being blammed for.

A number of local residents passionately complained about the late night work at the last CB8 Second Avenue Subway Task Force meeting. In particular the residents were upset by the jack hammering at 3 AM on Tuesday, June 17th.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

June 19, 2008

The Second Avenue Business Association (SABA)
released this Media Advisory earlier this evening.

Note: Left-click on the image for a view that is readable.

I've added links, in the right-hand column, to the three
New York State Assembly bills that have been introduced to help small businesses in the current and future Second Avenue Subway construction zones. I've also provided a link to the summary and full text of each bill below:

A10594 / S8154
"AN ACT to amend the New York state urban development corporation act, in relation to establishing a Second Avenue Subway construction economic development grant program; and to amend the economic development law, in relation to the definition of micro business..."
A10594 - Bill Summary (Passed on 06/19/08)
A10594 - Bill Text
S8154 - Bill Summary (Passed on 06/24/08)
Delivered to the governor

on 7/11/2008

A10743 / S8191
"AN ACT to amend the tax law, in relation to providing a sales and compensating use tax exemption in certain areas of New York city..."
A10743 - Bill Summary
A10743 - Bill Text
S8191 - Bill Summary

A10924 / S8227
"AN ACT to amend the real property tax law, in relation to creating tax abatements for certain commercial properties located within the Second Avenue subway project..."
A10924 - Bill Summary (Passed 06/24/08)
A10924 - Bill Text
S8227 - Bill Summary

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

June 18, 2008

Here's a link to the the presentation that MTA Capital Construction and the contractor (S3 Tunnel Constructors) gave at the Community Board 8 Second Avenue Subway Task Force meeting this past Tuesday, 06/17/08:

MTA and S3 Tunnel Constructors
presentation to CB8 (PDF, 7.32 MB) - 06/17/2008

The presentation covered the following topics:

A proposed revisions to track alignment -
72nd Street station reduced from a 3 track and 2 platform station to a 2 track and 1 platform station.

An overview of the maintenance and protection of traffic plan for the work site between 91st and 97th streets.

An overview of the work required to construct the 69th Street and 72nd Street work shafts.

An overview of the construction progress. (March - June, 2008)

An overview of the secant pile wall construction techniques.

An overview of the slurry wall construction techniques.

A review of the crane safety procedures in effect at the
work site.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

June 15, 2008

91st, NE corner - looking N
Most work at the moment seems to be focused on the blocks between 91st and 93rd streets. The plan, at the moment, is to move the work site back to the west side of the 2nd Avenue on July 14th.

btw. 91st and 92nd, east side - looking SW
The sections of pipes shown (each either 30" or 42" in diameter) are for a new gas main.

near the SE corner of 92nd - looking N
This special concrete mold was laid in the past few days.

near the SE corner of 93rd - looking SW
Further north on 2nd Avenue the contractors have now closed up the street and they've installed a new sidewalk, as you can see.

93rd street, SE corner - looking SW
But, near the intersection, it looks like there's still quite a bit of work to do relocating various utility lines.

on 93rd street (about 50' east of the intersection) - looking W

btw. 93rd and 94th, east side - looking S
This wooden deck was put in to provide access over an open trench near a building on 2nd Avenue. The deck allows people to access the shops and apartments while the trench is open.

same location - looking N
And a little farther north the utility relocation work has progressed far enough that the sidewalk can now be relaid.

94th street, NE corner - looking E
This is a protected walking path to one of the shops between 93rd and 94th.

94th street (in the middle of the avenue) - looking S
The numerous concrete boxes in the middle of the walking path, I believe, provide access to the "splice boxes" for the beams that will be installed to support the deck surface.

The pedestrian walking path here is right down the middle of 2nd Avenue, to the left of the Jersey Barrier. Access to the shops and buildings is provided via walkways that sort of look like small pedestrian alleys. Note the small square signs that have been posted at the head of each alley.

btw. 94th and 95th, east side - looking N
This brand new German made Liebherr HS 855 crawler crane appeared on the site about 10 days ago, up near 95th street.

95th, near the SE corner - looking NW
I believe that the tan colored piece on equipment on the right is known as a "slurry wall clamshell grab." At this location they will be using it to dig the trench for the north bulkhead of the Launch Box. This link gives a good overview of how slurry walls are built.

95th, SE corner - looking W

95th, NW corner - looking SW

95th, looking NW corner - looking S

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

June 11, 2008

The next meeting of the Community Board 8
Second Avenue Subway Task Force has been announced.
Here are the details:

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hunter College School of Social Work
129 East 79th Street (btw. Lex & Park), Auditorium

1. Construction update will include the need to
build/bring in 2 cranes

2. Tunnel Alignment Changes - East 63rd to East 86th Streets

3. Old Business

4. New Business

Recent addition to the left hand column of The Launch Box:

Meeting notes from the Second Avenue Business Association's June 11, 2008 meeting with the MTA

A complete set of meeting notes from the Second Avenue Business Association's meetings with the MTA,
for the period January - May 2008

Links to a translation of The Launch Box into Spanish,
French and German, courtesy of Google.

Note: I expect to post a new set of images on the weekend.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

May 30, 2008 - Crane Accident on 1st Avenue w/updates

Please Note:
This posting is about the fatal crane accident that occurred

in my neighborhood today. It has nothing to do with the
2nd Avenue Subway Launch Box construction project.

- - -

Today was a sad and troubling day for many people here
in New York City.

Another tower crane collapsed, and two construction workers were killed.

I've decided to post a few pictures here since the accident happened 1/2 block from my apartment, and 1 block from the 2nd Avenue SAS Launch Box construction site.

- - -

I first learned of the accident when I got a call, from my friend Patricia at about 8.40 am while I was on my way to work. She told me that she had heard on NPR that a crane had collapsed on 1st Avenue & 91st Street on the Upper East Side and that 2 people were dead.

When I arrived home at about 7 pm this evening I walked over to the accident site to see for myself what had happened.

Here's what I saw --

92nd and 1st Avenue - looking SW
In this image New York Crane & Equipment (a private company) is setting up a very large German made Liebherr mobile crane in the middle of 1st Avenue to start the process of disassembling the base of the tower crane that fell. A 2nd smaller mobile crane can be seen in the background.

The building that was under construction is on the right.

same location
This image is a zoom shot. In it you can see the damage to the penthouse apartment in the building on the SW corner of 91st and 1st Avenue.

93rd and 1st Avenue - looking S
Another shot of the scene. (Note that it was impossible today, for me, to get any closer since the accident site was closed off for one block in each direction.

92nd Street & 1st Avenue - looking SW

- - -

The following pictures were taken 6 weeks ago,
on April 16, 2008.

On this day I happened to be out with my camera taking a few pictures of the 2nd Avenue Subway construction site. I decided to walk down 91st Street to watch the assembly of the Kodiak tower crane on the NW corner of 91st and 1st Avenue. In fact these are pictures of the assembly of the tower crane that ultimately fell today.

1st Avenue, btw. 91st and 92 - looking SW
Here workers are preparing to lift the crane's turntable to the top of the tower.
Update June 5, 2008: The Post reported today that Kodiak crane No. 052, shown above, wasn't supposed to be installed at this work site. [you can clearly see the digits "052" stenciled on the side of the crane's turntable, if you click on the image.]
The article from the Post can be found on this link:
"Wrong Number", New York Post, 06/05/08.

higher and higher they go...

- - -

Update June 1, 2008

I took a look on the Flicker web site today to see what had been posted by people in the neighborhood.

This picture, by El Gaspode, was taken just a few moments after the crane came down - before emergency personnel arrived.

91st and 1st Avenue, SE corner - looking NW
By El Gaspode (click on the link for more of her pictures)

And you can find about 2 dozen high resolution "before and after" pictures of the crane that was involved in this accident on Seth Holladay's Flicker page.

on the east side of 1st Avenue,
between 91st and 92nd - looking SW
by Seth Hollady

For further detailed information on the crane accident I suggest the New York Times special on-line section:
Crane Collapse - East 91st Street (NYC).

- - -

To offset just a bit of the sadness and concern that many New Yorkers felt today, I've decided to include a picture of a special event that just occurred here in the City.

The image below was taken yesterday --
on the 1st day of the so-called Manhattan Solstice.

What is the Manhattan Solstice (also sometimes called Manhattanhenge) you might ask... this is the day that the setting sun is perfectly aligned with the east-west streets in Manhattan.

Bryant Park, on a stone bench
near the New York Public Library
looking West, down 41st Street.

This is a stitched image. Left-click on it for the the "full view."