Monday, April 19, 2010

The Main Beam

This evening the so-called "main beam" for the Second Avenue subway tunnel boring machine (TBM) was lowered down into the launch box. The images that follow document this event.

The first set of images (except for the aerial shots) were taken from the west side of Second Avenue, between 91st and 92nd streets.

ll of the the aerial shots were taken from an apartment on the NW corner of The Waterford, a residential building located at 300 East 93rd Street.

Note that you can left-click on any image
to view it in a high-definition format.

9:45 p.m. EDT

The main beam, which is the piece on the TBM that is directly behind the cutterhead support, arrived at the work site on this special trailer shortly after 9 p.m. this evening. It [the main beam] weighs in at 191,000 pounds (95 1/2 tons)

When I arrived at the scene, the workers had just attached the rigging so that the crane could lift the piece off of the trailer.

The mobile crane that was used on this job, which has a lifting capacity of 500 tons, is a German made Liebherr LTM 1400. It is owned by Bay Crane of Long Island City, NY.

9:46 p.m.

This image shows the trailer being moved out from under the piece.

9:59 p.m.

The piece was then lowered onto a set of wooden blocks so that the rigging could be repositioned before the main lift.

10:03 p.m.

Shortly after 10 p.m. a worker called out "going up!" and the right edge of the piece slowly started to rise.

10:06 p.m.

The piece slowly moved higher and higher, and then it stopped.

10:09 p.m.

Some of the rigging needed to be adjusted so the piece was lowered so the men could work on it.

10:23 p.m.

Workers are shown here adjusting the rigging, while the right side of the piece is still in the air.

10:29 p.m.

The workers are now satisfied with the rigging, so the main lift resumes. (If you look carefully at the high-definition shot you can see fluid [I was told that it was water] spilling out of the piece.)

10:31 p.m.

And now the piece is airborne.

10:31 p.m. - looking South, down Second Avenue
Courtesy of JSL

10:33 p.m.

The crane now rotates the boom to the east so that the piece can be positioned over the large glory hole in front of Delizia's Ristorante and Pizzeria.

10:34 p.m.

By now a crowd has gathered as bystanders stop to observe the scene. Everyone seemed to be taking pictures of the lift with an iPhone, cell phone or digital camera.

10:34 p.m.
Courtesy of JSL


This set of images (except for the aerial shots) was taken from the east side of Second Avenue, between 91st and 92nd streets.

10:36 p.m.

Ever so slowly the piece is lowered down into the hole.

10:36 p.m.
Courtesy of JSL

10:40 p.m.

Everyone who walks into the scene stops to watch. Most immediately ask "what's going on?"

10:43 p.m.

10:44 p.m.
Courtesy of JSL

10:53 p.m.

Workers observe and direct the positioning of the piece now that its at the bottom of the hole. The cables on the left are connected to the crane.


In other news -

The Japanese Restaurant Hokkaido closed their location at 1817 Second Avenue (btw. 94th & 95th streets) on April 12th.


The sign on the door said that they had moved to 1694 Second Avenue (btw. 87th and 88th streets) and that this location would re-open in about a week, apparently under a new name.

This is the 20th establishment, in the Second Avenue Subway Construction zone between 91st and 95th streets, that has closed since construction started in April 2007.

A complete listing of the stores and restaurants that have closed can be found on this link.


The MTA's lawyers, in the case 233 East 69th Owners Corp. v. U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT), et al (10 CIV 00491) filed a motion on 4/7/10 requesting that this case be dismissed because "the complaint fails to state a claim."

This is the federal civil case that the co-op owners of 233 East 69th Street brought against the U.S. DOT, the U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and the MTA back in January 2010.

Looking at the NW corner of East 69th Street and 2nd Avenue
Source: Presentation by the MTA to the Community Board 8 Second Avenue Subway Task Force - 11/30/09 - p.67

The case, which was first reported by The Real Deal, argues that the ancillary buildings for the Second Avenue subway violate the original Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project.

facing 235 East 69th Street (btw. 2nd & 3rd Avenues) - looking N

The primary concern for the residents of 233 East 69th Street is the that the MTA's current plan calls for the Ancillary building on this corner to be built out to the west property line; which would mean that some of the lot-line windows on the east face of 233 East 69th Street would be covered over by the west face of the MTA's new structure. (the red-line in the image above roughly shows the windows that would be lost.)

According to the docket for this case, the judge ruled on 4/14/10 that the defendants' motions to dismiss are adjourned until the U.S. FTA determines whether he MTA must prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Since this will take some time, the court has ordered that the parties should next meet in conference in about 2 months, on 6/11/10.

In the meantime it is not clear what impact this case will have on the project, besides the additional delay.


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

"Upper East Side fitness club declares bankruptcy"
By Adrianne Pasquarelli
Crain's NY Business - 4/15/10
The is the gym that's located on the SW corner of East 93rd Street and Second Avenue.

NYC OASIS map of the area
The NYC OASIS (Open Accessible Space Information System) web site provides a rich set of mapping and geographic data about the city of New York. I use it to quickly locate information about buildings in the city.

Robbins TBM Brochure
For people who wish to learn even more about tunnel boring machines.