Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 24, 2009

Here's a new posting that's just in time for the holidays.

To start with, here's a copy of the MTA's recently released 16-page Quarterly Report for Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway project. This particular report covers the period July, August and September 2009.

The MTA should be applauded (yes, applauded!) for their willingness to release reports like this to the public. To the best of my knowledge this is the 1st time that this report has been made available on the MTA's web site.

A complete copy of the report can be found on this link:
3Q2009 Quarterly Report, Second Avenue Subway, Phase 1

The report is full of interesting information about the project, as one might imagine. Here are a few points that I found to be particularly noteworthy:

The report says that Contract 1 is 53% complete (as of 9/30/09) by "invoice construction work" as of 9/30/2009. (This is the same number that the MTA announced at the last meeting of Community Board 8's Second Avenue Subway Task Force.)

So apparently, the MTA calculates how far along they are based on how much of the cost has been invoiced ($200,068,420) vs. the Estimate at Completion (EAC) cost ($377,365,064) for this contract. The "53% complete" number that was given out at the last CB8 SAS Task Force meeting should have been qualified -- since no one would have ever imagined that this how the MTA came up with this percentage. (page 6)

The report goes on to say that the safety record associated with Contract 1 is much lower than comparable figures that are available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. e.g.. the OSHA recordable incident ratio is 1.92 compared to the industry Average of 4.9. The workers and the contractors on this project deserve a lot of credit for this very good news. (page 7)

And shown below you have a detailed schedule, as of 9/30/2009 (page 13).

(left-click on the image above for a version that is readable)

The report also includes a very detailed budget for the project (shown below). Near the bottom of the budget sheet is a line (highlighted below) that I've never heard anyone talk about before.

Total Project Cost - $4,451,000,000
Estimated Financing Cost - $ 816,614,000
Totals Including Financing Cost - $5,267,614,000

I'd assume that this is the financing cost that is associated with the local share of the project. (i.e. debt service, etc.)

Interestingly, most everyone has been reporting that the total cost of Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway is $4.451 Billion -- when in fact the number is actually more like $5.268 Billion. (page 15)

And on page 16 (as shown below) you find a very detailed listing of where all the money for this project is coming from.

- - -

Here are two excellent video reports on the Second Avenue Subway project -- which include a few good quotes from the workers who are making this happen.

" 'This Construction A-Noise Me,' Residents Say" (2:00)
By James de Mellow & Aaron Lee
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
ZoomNYC - 12/17/09

"Going Underground" (1:44)
"Chamber 97-1, at 97th Street and 2nd Avenue, will eventually be home to a tunnel as part of the Second Avenue Subway. Carmen Perez and Yepoka Yeebo talked to the engineers and construction workers charged with moving pipes and wires, and making sure the tunnel can hold the weight of an 85,000 lb train."
By Carmen Perez and Yepoka Yeebo
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
ZoomNYC - 12/17/09

- - -

On a different, but related topic -- the MTA announced on December 17th that the 1st phase of the Number 7 Line extension has been completed.

The video below shows the 1,000-ton Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) breaking through the 34th Street station cavern wall.

(NOTE: The video and images below are NOT from the Second Avenue subway project. They are from the MTA's Number 7 Line extension project over on the west side of Manhattan.)

"7 train excavation footage" (1:53)
YouTube - Mayor Bloomberg's Channel - 12/17/09

And here are four images of the TBM, that has been working on the Number 7 Line extinsion, breaking through the rock wall.

Patrick J. Cashin/MTA

Patrick J. Cashin/MTA

Patrick J. Cashin/MTA

Patrick J. Cashin/MTA

These images were posted on Mayor Bloomberg's web site "News from the Blue Room."

You can read the full MTA press release on this link:
"MTA And Mayor Bloomberg Announce Completion Of First Phase Of Number 7 Subway Extension" - MTA 12/21/09

- - -

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

Monthly Project Report - Second Avenue Subway
MTA Capital Construction - 12/2009
(a 2-page summary of the project that was prepared for the Capital Construction, Planning and Real Estate Committee of the MTA Board of Directors.)

December 2009 Capital Program Oversight Report
Second Avenue Subway

McKissack + Delcan JV - 12/17/09
(a 12-page independent engineering review of the project that was prepared for the Capital Program Oversight Committee of the MTA Board of Directors.)
Note: This report is part of a very large 61 MB PDF file that is sitting on the MTA's web site. For most people it will take a little time for this to download.

"Second Avenue Subway : Go East, Young Man"
By Dan Fastenberg and Yasmine Guerda
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
ZoomNYC - 12/20/09

"Second Ave. station entrance sagas hit 96th St."
2nd Ave. Sagas - 12/22/09

"Subway Construction Blasts Business" (1:38)
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
By Dan Lieberman

And, an addition to the glossary

Happy Holidays!



jmp said...

I've always heard that the tunnel boring machines could only ever be used for one project, but it seems that within a single project they can be disassembled after one run and reassembled for a second run. If that can be done, why couldn't the MTA take the TBM that just finished tunneling the 7 train extension and move it over to the launch box to tunnel under Second Avenue, thus saving the cost of a TBM? Is there some detail I'm missing here?

Josh said...

The main problem is that the MTA doesn't own these TBMs, nor are MTA crews operating them. The TBMs are owned and operated by private contractors who won the contracts to dig these tunnels. Until the project is complete per contract, everything built is the property of the contractor. The contractors on these two totally seperate projects may and may not be the same. Also, there are probably issues of overlapping schedules.