Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 31, 2010

btw. 72nd and 73rd - looking SW

Here you can see the outline of what will become an access shaft for the Second Avenue subway project. This shaft, and similar one near 69th Street, will be used as access points for the construction of the new 72nd Street station.

The MTA has recently announced that controlled blasting activities (for the two access shafts in this area) is now scheduled to start on or about Monday, February 8, 2010.

A copy of the MTA's blasting notice can be found on this link:
MTA Notification of Controlled Blasting - 69th to 73rd streets

The plan shown above, which was presented by S3 Tunnel Constructors at the Community Board 8 Second Avenue Subway Task Force meeting on 1/26/10, details the existing work area between 69th and 73rd streets on Second Avenue.

On the plan one can see the location of the access shafts that are under construction.

btw. 69th and 70th - looking SW

And here is a view of the site where the other access shaft will be built.

These would appear to be the steel beams that will be used to construct the structural frame for the access shaft near 69th Street.

btw. 82nd and 83rd - looking S

All of the orange fencing that was setup around the work area between 82nd and 88th streets (that I highlighted in my posting on December 6, 2009) has now been replaced with wire fencing.

I'm not sure why this was done -- maybe for aesthetic reasons or possibly because the wire mesh is more secure than the orange plastic fencing that was there before.

near 84th - looking N

btw. 83rd & 84th

If you look closely at this hole you can see the layers that form the surface of the street - including what appears to be an old layer of cobblestones.

87th - SE corner - looking W

92nd - SE corner - looking W

On most mornings when I walk by this spot workers can be seen filling bags with gravel.

btw. 96th and 95th - looking S

The wooden railing shown here was installed by the contractors a few weeks ago. I would assume that it was setup to assist the people who live in the Carnegie East House senior residence that is located on the east side of Second Avenue in this block.

btw. 93rd and 94th - looking W

The hut that is shown, with a door that I assume can be locked, was setup a few weeks ago - after it was discovered that at least one person had illegally accessed the site early one morning.

This door provides workers with access to a set of stairs that leads to the floor of the launch box, 65 feet down.


Here's a set of pictures of the work that's been taking place under the Second Avenue road decking.

The pictures were included in the presentation that S3 Tunnel Constructors made at last weeks meeting of the Community Board 8 Second Avenue Subway Task Force.

under 92nd ? - looking S

under 94th ? - looking S

under 94th - looking N

under 94th ?

under 94th ? - looking N

Photo credits: S3 Tunnel Constructors

A complete copy of the 65-page presentation, which includes design details for the 63rd Street station can be found on this link:
CB8 Second Avenue Subway Task Force presentation - 1/26/10
(Note that this is a 10 Mb PDF file, so it may take some time to open.)


And now we return the continuing story of the building at 1766/1768 Second Avenue, which is also known as 301/303 East 92nd Street.


This mixed-use building, which is owned by the entity 1766-68 Associates L.P., was evacuated by order of the Department of Buildings about seven months ago, on 6/29/09. The DOB had determined at that time that the structure was in immediate danger of collapse. Thirty-one apartments and three businesses were effected by the DOB's Full Vacate order.

Now fast forward to the January 2010 MTA Board meeting that was held on 1/27/10.

As part of this meeting, MTA Capital Construction (MTACC) formally requested that the MTA Board authorize an additional $785,000 for Contract C-26002 (Second Avenue Tunnels 92nd Street to 63rd Street) - to cover the cost to stabilize the building at 1766/1768 Second Avenue.

Here is a copy of the justification that MTA Capital Construction prepared for the for the MTA Board meeting:


The contract is for the construction of two bored tunnels from 92nd Street to 63rd Street, including the construction of access shafts at 69th Street and 72nd Street and construction of a tunnel boring machine (TBM) launch box between 91st and 95th Streets.

The building at 1766/1768 Second Avenue is adjacent to the TBM launch box work site. Before contract award, the building was leaning out of plumb between 18 and 24 inches.

The NYC Department of Buildings (NYCDOB) issued an emergency declaration directing the building owner to stabilize the building and, in June 2009, ordered the owner to vacate the building.

A comprehensive design was developed by the owner's engineer and approved by NYCDOB for structural ties as a short-term means to stabilize the structure, followed by construction of an interior masonry core structure and 'additional ties for long-term remediation.

However, the owner did not start the work. Instead, on September 3, 2009, the building owner filed a notice of claim asserting that the entire stabilization work is required as a consequence of vibrations anticipated during the excavation of the TBM launch box.

Since NYCDOB will not permit excavation of the TBM launch box until the building is stabilized, delays in stabilizing the building create day-for-day impactable delays of the contract, with impact costs estimated at $30,000 to $60,000 per day.

While its legal claim is pending, the building owner will not perform or bear the cost of the stabilization work.

Since the essence of the building owner's claim is for MTACC to pay for the stabilization, MTACC offered to perform the short-term work required by NYCDOB to stabilize the building sufficiently to allow excavation and bracing of the TBM launch box between 91st and 92nd Streets.

On September 18, 2009, MTACC and the building owner executed a legal agreement under which the MTACC contractor is permitted to enter the building and perform such work, with the condition that MTACC bears the cost of that short-term stabilization work and the building owner reserves its right to pursue its claim regarding the remaining long-term stabilization work, which NYCDOB requires prior to re-occupancy of the building.

On September 23, 2009, the President of MTACC approved a retroactive waiver and MTACC directed the contractor to proceed the same day.

The contractor's proposal was $877,908. MTACC's revised estimate was $741,358. The lump sum price of $785,000 was agreed upon and has been found to be fair and reasonable.

The delay associated with this modification is due to the Contractor's inability to perform blasting operations which were delayed from August 18, 2009 until a blasting permit was issued on November 4, 2009, a period of 38 working days.

The potential impact cost for this delay is approximately $1.1M to $2.2M which is based on a $30,000 to $60,000 per day impact.

This delay will be addressed in a separate future modification.


I'll let the statement above from MTA Capital Construction stand on it's own, without further comment, for the moment.

If you wish to read an original copy of MTA Capital Construction's statement then click on this link:
January 2010 MTA Board Action Items - page 164
(Please note that the file size is is 27.7 Mb.)


In other news, the Taco Bell restaurant at 1825 Second Avenue (btw. 94th and 95th) went out of business in mid-January.

The total number of store fronts that have closed in the Second Avenue Subway Construction Business Zone Area (btw. 91st and 95th streets), since April 2007 when construction started, now stands at eighteen (18).

On a positive note - the store front at
1844 2nd Avenue (btw. 95th and 96th) looks like it's finally about to re-open, as Carnegie Hill Chemists. This location, which was The Carnegie Pharmacy, was closed back in April 2008.

You can find a complete overview on this link:
Store fronts that have closed

1825 Second Avenue (btw. 94th and 95th)

1844 2nd Avenue (btw. 95th and 96th)
UPDATE: This location re-opened
as Carnegie Hill Chemists
on February 1, 2010


A footnote:

For those that are interested - I'm now using a Canon PowerShot G11 camera. (effective with my posting on 1/29/10). After five years using a Canon PowerShot S70 I decided that it was time to upgrade to a newer piece of technology.

So far I'm thrilled with the quality of the images that I'm getting out of the Canon G11, especially those that I've taken in low light conditions.

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