Saturday, November 15, 2008

November 14, 2008 - Working at Night

It was hot in the city on Friday evening, for the middle of November, so I decided to go for a walk and take a few pictures of evening work location at the NW corner of 93rd street and 2nd avenue.

The crew that was working at this hour was digging a trench for part of the slurry wall that will become the west side of The Launch Box.

All of the pictures that follow were taken using the
Sepia tone setting on my camera.

One of many pedestrians that stopped to observe the activity.

The crew here is digging a 70 foot deep trench using a piece of equipment called a Diaphragm Wall Grab.

The Grab is lifted, and lowered, into the trench using one of the big Liebherr crawler cranes - as shown in the image above.

The crane operator has just lowered the Grab deep into the trench.

And now the Grab has just been lifted out of the trench, with the bucket at the end full with a load of earth and rocks.

Another view of the same work location -
this time looking south down 2nd avenue.

The liquid that is falling off the Grab, as it is being lifted out of the trench, is a mixture of water and bentonite. The hole is full of the water & bentonite mixture to prevent the collapse of the trench.

The soil and rocks from the bottom of the trench are dumped by the Grab into a pile, and then loaded into a truck to be taken away.

I left the site at about 9 PM, as the crew kept working.

- - -

Here's a listing of the recent additions to the right-hand
column of The Launch Box:

Under News Links:

Local Business Owners Struggle Through Construction Project
The Epoch Times - 11/6/08

Upper E. Hell Zone
New York Post - 11/10/08

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November 1, 2008

Source: Second Ave. Sagas - 10/31/08
A nice looking poster, from an F train.
Clearly the MTA is optimistic about having Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway running by 2015.

93rd St, NW corner
At this location there is a crew working to clear an obstruction at the bottom of one of the new holes for the slurry wall. The obstruction is probably a large rock, or section of Manhattan bedrock, that wasn't detected when the test bores were drilled before the project got started.

In this image, and the series that follow, a crew of men is using one of the big Liebherr crawler cranes to "work on" the rock down in the hole.

The crane is used to lower (and lift) a gravity-powered steel drop chisel in the hole -- the goal being to break up the rock at the bottom and create a flat surface so that the rotary drilling rig can be brought in to drill out the rock. (the rotary drill requires a flat surface for drilling through rock, otherwise the teeth at the end of the drill just break off, I was told, by a friend of The Launch Box.)

Here's a close up image of the chisel.
In this image the chisel, which slides up and down on a sort of guide, is about to be lifted out of the hole.

The chisel, which I'm told ways 15,000 pounds, has just been lifted off of the guide (which is the piece of steel that is sticking up out of the hole.)

And it's being laid down on the ground here.
(Note the beveled edge on the left end.)

Now a team of workers is connecting two sets of steel cables so that the guide for the chisel can be repositioned in the hole. (Yes, each crew member is wearing a personal floatation device. They must wear these for safety reasons, because of the slurry mixture down in the hole.)

Here the crew takes care to see that the cables don't become tangled.

The crawler crane has now taken up the slack in the cable and the men, with the help of a backhoe, work to reposition the steel guide for the chisel.

92nd, SW corner - looking E
Sections of concrete road decking have been piled at this location on 2nd Avenue.

Another view of the same stack of concrete decking.

91st, btw. 2nd and 3rd
The Second Avenue Business Association hosted a block party in the afternoon to raise awareness of its Save Our Stores Campaign.

New York State Assembly Members Micah Kellner and Jonathan Bing joined the party to show their support for the business association, and to assist with the judging of the costume contest.

- - -

Here's a listing of the recent additions to the left-hand
column of The Launch Box:

Under Community Board 8
Second Avenue Subway Task force:

Copies of the 2 presentations that were made at
the October 28th meeting:
Construction Progress Update - 10/28/08
(Launch Box and Shaft Site work btw. 69th and 72nd Streets) - 4.8 MB

Architectural Finishes and Design - 10/29/08
(96th, 86th and 72nd Street Stations) - 6.2 MB

And this additional presentation from the August 28th CB8 meeting:
69th Street Entrance Plan with Dimension - 08/28/08

Under Web Links:
"Second Avenue Subway: Rethink 1" and
"Second Avenue Subway: Rethink 2"
from the blog The Transport Politic

I've also added a glossary, since the blog from time to time includes words and terms that may not be well known.
- I-beam
- Rebar
- Secant wall (loads slowly)
- Slurry wall
- Tunnel Boring Machine
(I'll add more over time.)

And take note that the MTA's "3 Week Looks Ahead" web page now includes a new section that details the construction activity between 69th and 73rd streets, on Second Avenue.

- - -

Sometime last week The Launch Box blog had it's 10,000th visitor. To mark this small milestone I've decided to publish a summary of the visitor statistics.

As of November 1, 2008:

Total Visits - 10,180
New Visitors - 4,874
Returning Visitors - 5,306

Total Pageviews - 23,394
Average Pageviews - 2.30 / visit
Average Time on Site - 02:34 / per visit

Traffic Sources:
Number of Sources and mediums - 160
24.84% Direct Traffic
44.02% Referring Sites
31.14% Search Engines

Top 5 Sources -
Direct / (none) - 2,529 visits
Google / organic - 1,763
en.Wikipedia / referral - 1,228
Google / cpc - 1,220 / referral - 484

Visitor Location:
92.2% United States
7.8% outside the United States

Of those from inside the United States -
65.05% New York State
4.90% California
4.66% New Jersey
4.19% Connecticut
21.20% all other States, except Montana, Wyoming or Nebraska.

The source of this data is Google Analytics.