Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Four Years On

Update - 4/17/11:
A link has now been added to a download site for the Science Channel's recent program: Build It Bigger: "Rebuilding New York City's Subway".


When I started preparing this posting, it occurred to me that almost four years has passed since I started this blog with this posting back on April 14, 2007.

A lot has clearly changed on Second Avenue over the past four years, and one can be sure that a lot more will change before the first train rolls under Second Avenue in 2016.

In the meantime I'm going to return to my traditional blog posting format - a survey of the work zone on Second Avenue, through the lens of my camera.


First off, a visit to the work site between 69th and 72nd Street.

btw. 69th and 70th streets

In this image you can see one of two shafts that is being used for the construction of the 72nd Street station cavern. The worker in the yellow protective cage is about to be lowered into the shaft.


Another view of the same shaft, from a different angle. In the foreground of this image is the muck bin, which is the location where the shot rock (the waste rock from the blasting operation below) is piled before it is loaded onto trucks to be taken away.


A close-up image of three workers being raised out of the shaft.

70th Street - looking S

I didn't hang around the work site long enough last Friday to experience a blast. But someone posted a video of one on YouTube, and here it is:

"2nd Ave subway construction" YouTube video (0:25) - 3/29/11 Posted by "thereffers" The work site that is shown in this video is just north of 72nd Street. Before the blast, workers covered the shaft with large sections of steel. The steel acts as a blast shield which prevents rocks and dust from flying out of the shaft. The blast shield also reduces the amount of sound that is produced by the blast. :: 4/1/11 91st Street - looking N These are hoses that were being used during the ground freeze operation. (The ground had to be frozen under Second Avenue in this area due to the weak rock structure. Once the ground was frozen, the TBM was then able to mine this section of Tunnel No. 2). The flexible hoses (shown above and below) you see here were, until very recently, were used to circulate chilled brine through the ground in this area. 4/1/11 A close up view of the valves at the top of each of the tubes. 4/1/11 In this image you can see a section of the TBM trailing gear that is waiting to be lowered into the launch box. :: Up at 97th Street, I found a team from Skanska Underpining & Foundation working to build part of the excavation support system at the Ancillary No. 2 work site. On the day that I was there, the contractor was building a section of a secant pile wall. 4/1/11 just south of 97th Street - looking W (This is the former site of the Century Lumber yard.) 4/1/11 The shaft of the secant pile is bored using a larger auger and then concrete is pumped into the shaft ... using a process that would take more words to explain than I have time this evening. (Click this link to see how this process works.) The workers here are in the process of removing sections of tremie pipe from the pile that is under construction. 4/1/11 In this image the workers are pumping fresh concrete into the bored pile. 4/1/11 Workers here are preparing to remove a section of the shaft casing. 4/1/11 The shaft casing has now been lifted, and the workers here are disconnecting this section of casing. 4/1/11 This section of shaft is the moved to the storage area on the left. Clearly this is a very messy job, whether it's raining or not. :: The images that follow were taken about 3 weeks ago. At that time I didn't feel that I had a good set of images for a posting so I decided to save them for later use here. 3/18/11 70th Street - looking N A view of the two-story construction office that has been set up on the eastern side of the avenue. 3/18/11 73rd Street - looking S A delivery to the work site. 3/18/11 73rd Street at the NE corner A station for measuring and recording the sound level and particulate mater in the air at the work site. 3/18/11 96th Street - looking S A newly installed 36" water main. 3/18/11 A survey team (2 men) at work. 3/18/11 btw. 96th & 97th streets - looking W A pair of large Liebherr crawler cranes wait to be assembled for work in the area. 3/18/11 96th Street - looking S "Notice: Keep Area Clean." Wishful thinking. :: A frustrated resident on Second Avenue makes an attempt, with this video on YouTube, to get the MTA to do something about the noise being produced by the work on Second Avenue. "NYC MTA Second Avenue Subway Construction Disturbance Upper East Side" YouTube video (8:47) - 3/31/11 Posted by "FedUp111111" (The video was shot inside a building located near 83rd Street and Second Avenue.) :: A Programing Note: If you're interested in the Second Avenue subway project, be sure to have a look at the The Science Channel's production of "Build It Bigger: New York City 2nd Avenue Subway / East Side Access". This 44-minute program, hosted by Danny Forster, looks at three of MTA Capital Construction's largest projects: the Second Avenue Subway, East Side Access, and the Fulton Street Transit Center. A short clip from the program has been embedded below: "Falling to Pieces" (1:43) Build It Bigger, Season 5, Episode 2: (a look inside Second Avenue subway Tunnel No. 1) New York City 2nd Avenue Subway / East Side Access The Science Channel Three additional video clips from the program can be found on this link. Update - 4/17/11 This episode was broadcast on The Science Channel on 4/8/11. You may be able to view a subsequent broadcast on cable by checking their currently posted schedule. Alternatively, you can now view -- or download -- the full episode from Amazon.com (for $1.99) on this link: Build It Bigger Season 5, Ep. 1 "Rebuilding New York City's Subway" I watched the program this evening after I figured out how to download the episode. The program is really interesting, on many levels, and is well worth the $1.99 purchase price. Anyone working on these projects should download the program so they can show their family and friends the work they're doing to expand New York City's transit system. Everyone should be impressed after seeing the work close-up, through the eyes of Danny Forster and his team at Build it Bigger. ::::: Here's a listing of the recent additions to the right-hand column of The Launch Box "MTA's Signs Off the Rails" By Andrew Grossman The Wall Street Journal - 4/6/11


Anonymous said...

Have they made enough progress to no longer need the ground freeze? When I walked past the area this morning, it looked the the pipes were still iced over between 91st and 90th Street.

The Launch Box said...

The ground freeze operation has, as of today, been shut down - since the TBM has now passed through the area with weak rock.

The ground freeze plant on 92nd Street was being disassembled when I walked by it this morning.