Sunday, April 26, 2009

South Ferry Station

Updated Sun. 1/27/2013:
The South Ferry Station was heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

Ben Kabak, of 2nd. Ave.Sagas, posted this set of 47 images on his Flickr page.  Keep in mind that this is what the station looks like more than three months after the storm.


The Daily News reported on Friday April 24th that the MTA may be about to announce that the opening date for the Second Avenue Subway has been pushed back again -- to 2016.

Here's the article:
"Second Ave. subway set back - again" - NY Daily News - 4/24/09


On Saturday I ventured downtown to have a look at the new $527 million South Ferry Subway Terminal, which opened about a month ago.

You might ask yourself, "why is he posting pictures of the South Ferry subway station on a blog that focused on the 2nd Avenue Subway?"

Because I've been told that the architectural and engineering design of the South Ferry Station station is very similar to what we'll see when the first set of new stations for the 2nd Avenue Subway opens, in about 7 years. I also wanted to see for myself what the first new MTA subway station in almost twenty years looked like.

This is the new South Ferry Terminal Central Entry Pavilion - which provides access to the terminal from Peter Minuit Plaza.

As a comparison, this is the current design for one of the Second Avenue Subway entrances at 96th Street.

Architectural Finishes and Design (96th, 86th and 72nd Street Stations)
MTA presentation to Community Board 8 Second Avenue Subway Task Force - 10/28/08

And this is the South Ferry Terminal Southern Entry Pavilion (for Staten Island Ferry Access)
There are two escalators and a stairway at this location.
(The MTA worker, with the orange safety vest, was giving directions to people when I was there.)

This is a side view of the same pavilion.

This is a stairway that leads nowhere -- unless you're an MTA employee who needs access to the door shown on the left.

This is a reconstruction of a small part of the 350-year-old Battery Wall that was uncovered during the construction of the new station.

The art work in the new station is spectacular. I would recommend a visit to the station just to see the works of art, by Brooklyn-based artists Doug and Mike Starn.

A close-up shot of the same piece.

A mosaic map of Manhattan. The detail, as you can see in the following close-up, in incredible.

The artwork at this location is sort of ominous, like you are entering a jungle.

And a track level you can see that this is a thoroughly modern station.

And in this image trains are arriving and departing at the same time -- at very slow speeds.

For further information on the South Ferry Subway Terminal I would recommend these three links:

"MTA Opens New South Ferry Subway Terminal"
MTA Press Release, 3/16/2009

South Ferry Terminal - MTA Capital Construction

"Inside the new South Ferry Terminal"
By Benjamin Kabak, Second Avenue Sagas, 12/12/08

Monday, April 13, 2009

A View From Above

And now, we have some pictures of the work site from above --
thanks to Kevin Edge.

Kevin was visiting New York, from England, a few weeks ago and he took two sets of images of the work site, from his room on the 30th floor of The Marmara Manhattan Hotel at 301 East 94th Street (btw. 94th and 95th on the east side of Second Avenue).

Thank you again Kevin for sharing your images with me,
and the viewers of The Launch Box.

Left-click on any image
to view its full size.

looking south,
from just north of 93rd to a point just south of 91st - 3/19/08
In this image the active work area is clearly shown on the east half of 2nd Avenue, while the west half of the avenue remains open to for 4 lanes of southbound traffic. The machines in this image are being used by the contractors to install secant piles and slurry walls to form the eastern edge of the TBM Launch Box.

looking straight down
btw. 94th and 95th - 3/17/09
In the middle of the picture you have a top-down view of the CMV TL50 Hydraulic Crane, which I'm told is referred to as the Casa Grande by the workers on the site. This is one of the machines that is use to dig the holes for the slurry walls.

same location (the cross street on the right is 95th, ) - 3/17/09

the cross street here is 94th - 3/17/09
Just north of the intersection is one of the big Liebherr HS 885 crawler cranes.

A close up, top-down view, of the same crane.

2nd Avenue, at 95th, looking North - 3/19/09
Here the the contractors are installing a section of 42" pipe that will be used to replace a cast iron water main (visible in the image above and below) at this location. (Notice how the traffic on Second Avenue has been reduced to a single lane on the west side of the avenue.)

the same view - 3/19/09
This image was taken just after the new section of pipe had been lowered into position in the trench.

Looking north up 2nd Avenue, from 96th - 3/19/09
And in this image you see how far the traffic backed up on 2nd Avenue during the installation of the pipe for the new water main.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April 2, 2009

Here are a few notes from the Community Board 8 Second Avenue Subway Task Force meeting that was held on Monday, March 23rd:
  • The MTA announced (at the meeting) that Contract 2A has been awarded to a joint venture between E. E. Cruz & Company, Inc. and the Tully Construction Co, Inc. The bid award amount was approx. $325 million. Contract 2A covers heavy civil and site work in and around the 96th Street station. Also included in this contract is the excavation work required to connect the new station at 96th Street to the existing 2nd Avenue subway tunnel just north of 99th Street.
An Update -- 5/31/09:
Apparently the MTA announced the award of Second Avenue Subway Contract 2A (referenced by the MTA as Contract C-26005) prematurely at the Community Board 8 meeting on March 23rd.

According the MTA's web site, this contract wasn't officially awarded until 5/28/09. The award amount was $303,863,700.

  • Contract 5A has now been put out to bid. This contract includes excavation and utility relocation work for the 86th street station.
  • The contractors (S3 Tunnel Constructors) have applied for a blasting permit from the New York City Fire Department and the Department of Environmental Protection. A limited amount of very controlled blasting will be required in and around the launch box to remove bedrock at the work site.
  • At the moment there are three (3) Secant Wall drilling machines and two (2) Slurry Wall excavators working at the site. This suggests to me that they are pushing the construction of the TBM launch box along much faster now.
  • S3 Tunnel Constructors gave the follow rough timeline for the next few months: For the next 4 months they will be constructing slurry and secant walls on the east side of the launch box. Then they will spend 1-2 months decking over the east half of the launch box, and then 4-5 months excavating the site (under the road decking) to a depth of about 75 feet.

Here's a copy of the PowerPoint presentations that were made by
S3 Tunnel Constructors and the MTA at the meeting:
Update on Construction & Schedule - 3/23/09

- - -

On Tuesday, March 31st, the MTA Transit Museum hosted a special lecture "The Second Avenue Subway Architecture and History" at Grand Central Terminal, on the north east balcony.

Three excellent presentations were given, by William Wheeler, Director of Special project Development & Planning, MTA New York City Transit, William Goodrich, Program Executive and Sr Vice President, MTA Capital Construction, and Judith Kunoff Chief Architect, MTA New York City Transit.

Here are a few notes that I took away from these presentations:
  • Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway project calls for the construction of 12,000 linear feet of 22' diameter tunnel. (between 92nd street and 63rd street.)
  • Delivery of the Tunnel Boring Machine (to the launch box site) is expect to start in the fall of 2009. The machine will arrive unassembled, on 30 flat bed trucks, and then it will be assembled on-site over a 2 month period. Drilling of the first bore is expect to start early in 2010.
  • The future Second Avenue Subway Line end-to-end (125th Street to Hanover Square, with 14 intermediate stops) will offer a faster ride than the Lexington Avenue number 4 express line (125th street to Bowling Green, with 7 intermediate stops) according to the MTA. This is because the new 2nd Avenue line will be engineered to 21st standards. The faster ride will also be made possible be the simple fact that the line will be much straighter. (i.e. no sharp turns, like the Lex takes at Grand Central Station.)

- - -

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

Under MTA Links
A new sub-section called "Procurement Info" with details of contracts that have been advertised and/or awarded by the MTA:

Contract 5A [C-26013] - IFB Notice - 86th Street Station Excavation,Utility Relocation and Road Decking - 3/5/09

Contract 2A [C-26005] -RFP Notice - 96th Street Station, Heavy Civil, Structural and Utility Relocation - 3/7/08

Contract 1 [C-26002]
Bid Award - Launch Box, Tunnels, and Shafts at 69th and 72nd - 1/18/07 - $337,025,000
IFB Notice - Launch Box, Tunnels, and Shafts at 69th and 72nd - 10/20/06

Under Second Avenue Business Association (SABA)
The Official SABA Web site

Under Current 2nd Avenue Subway Related Legislation:
A link to New York State Assembly Bill A3949,
"A bill to create real property tax abatement for certain commercial properties located within the Second Avenue Subway project", and the corresponding NYS Senate Bill, S1393.

Under Glossary:
Deep foundation

A new posting, with pictures, will follow shortly...