Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Doughnut on 2nd Avenue

Another large piece of the Second Avenue subway's Robbins Main Beam Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) was delivered to the work site this evening.

This 220,000 pound (110 ton) piece of machinery, which is known as the cutterhead support, is the front-end of the gigantic rock-eating machine that will soon be boring two new 22 foot diameter tunnels for the Second Avenue subway.

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

All 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.

9:24 p.m. EDT
Courtesy of JSL

This piece of the TBM, which looks like a doughnut in this shot, rolled down Second Avenue at about quarter after nine this evening.

The truck with this piece started its journey in Newark earlier this evening and it entered Manhattan via the George Washington Bridge sometime after 8:00 p.m.

9:57 p.m.

In this image the mobile crane, a Liebherr LTM 1400, is just about to lift the piece off of the platform trailer.

10:07 p.m.
Courtesy of JSL

An aerial shot of the scene as the workers prepare for the 1st lift of the evening. Traffic on Second Avenue was stopped and then, the piece was airborne.

10:08 p.m.

The trailer has pulled away and 220,000 pounds of steel and machinery was suspended just a few feet above the street.

10:14 p.m.
Courtesy of JSL

10:48 p.m.

The piece was then lowered onto a set of large wooden beams.

Workers then repositioned and adjusted the lifting slings in preparation for the next step - standing the piece up on its side!

10:58 p.m.

Just before 11 p.m. the crane operator started the lift.

11:01 p.m.

The piece rose ever so slowly to this position, and then they stopped. Workers carefully rechecked the rigging to be sure that everything was set just right.

11:04 p.m.
Courtesy of JSL

When the angle of the piece reaching about 80 degrees it tipped on its own and for a brief moment the piece sort of bobbled while the crane shook (just a bit) as it stabilized the 110 ton piece of steel.

The piece now is basically standing on end on it's own, with some help from the crane.

11:06 p.m.

Again the workers inspected the rigging to be sure that all was in order.

11:09 p.m.

11:10 p.m.

11:13 p.m.

A worker again yelled "going up", and the operator instructed the crane to start lifting the piece... ever so slowly.

11:13 p.m.

Workers then moved into position to carefully rotate the piece so that it could be positioned properly when it was lowered into the hole.

11:16 p.m.
Courtesy of JSL

Notice the shadow of the piece against the building across the street.

- - -

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

11:18 p.m.

Very carefully the crane operator positions the piece over the hole, while a man with a rope works to keep the piece from rotating.

11:18 p.m.
Courtesy of JSL

11:19 p.m.

Now in position, the piece is slowly lowered into the hole where it will be connected to the main beam of the TBM.

11:21 p.m.
Courtesy of JSL

11:23 p.m.

Maybe on Wednesday evening they will deliver the actual cutterhead for the TBM.

Let's wait and see.

: : :: :

In other news -

The MTA just released (on their web site) a copy of the 22-page Second Avenue Subway, Phase 1 Quarterly Report for 4Q2009 that I assume they provided to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) some time ago.

Page 16, reproduced below, includes a Gantt chart (dated 11/30/09) for the project that is labeled "Schedule and Proposed Schedule."

(left-click on the image for a view that is readable.)
FTA Quarterly Report - Second Avenue Subway, Phase 1 - 4Q2009 - p.16

The good news is that the Revenue Operation Date for Phase 1 is still forecast for December 2016.

The bad news is that the forecast completion dates for the contracts that have already been awarded have been pushed back by 1 - 2 months, vs. the last schedule that was presented at the Community Board 8 Second Avenue Subway meeting on 9/24/09.

Other contracts, all yet to be awarded, have had their forecasted completion dates shifted up 1 month or back, as far as 8 months - in the case of the 63rd Street station upgrade.

Anyone who has a serious interest in this project should read this report.


On a lighter note, the Second Avenue Business Association has announced plans for a photo contest. The topic will be, you guessed it - the Second Avenue subway construction.

Details can be found in the flyer shown below.


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

SAS Planning Snapshot: The RPA’s MetroLink
2nd. Ave. Sagas - 4/20/10

"Fairway Market May be Driven From Upper East Side by Second Avenue Subway"
By Gabriela Resto-Montero - 4/21/10