Sunday, August 14, 2011

Reporting on the Reports

With this post, I am going to highlight several key reports that have been issued over the past two weeks. These reports are available on the MTA's web site, if you know where to look.

Updates: 8/15/11 & 8/23/11
The MTA has now set a 7 p.m. cutoff time for blasting associated with the new 72nd and 86th street stations. Details have been provided in the updated sections below.

Second Avenue Subway, Phase I Quarterly Report
Report Period: 2Q2011 (April, May, June 2011)
MTA Capital Construction
To find this report on the Internet, follow this path: >
Capital Program > Building the Future >
Second Avenue Subway > Documents

This 29-page report includes a great deal of detail on the project,
as one might expect.

Highlights include:
  • The forecast date for revenue service on the new line under Second Avenue remains December 30th, 2016.
  • The current schedule now includes 67 calendar days of schedule contingency(*). This is a significant reduction in contingency days vs. the 168 day number detailed in the 1Q2011 report. The lost days are primarily due to the five month delay awarding the 86th Street Cavern Mining contract.
  • The contractor mining the 72nd Street Station Cavern has excavated 20,255 BCY (Bank Cubic Yards) [11.9%] to date, of the 170,507 BCY total.
(*) Schedule contingency is "planned extra duration" in the schedule to allow for unexpected delays.


Second Avenue Subway (*)
MTA Capital Construction presentation
to the MTA Board of Directors
Capital Program Oversight Committee
July 2011
Location on the Internet: > About the MTA >
Board Materials > 7/25/11 - Capital Program Oversight Committee

Significant critical milestones and issues include:
  • The active lawsuit between Yorkshire Tower residents and the MTA concerning the planned entrances on 86th Street.
  • Delays on the active 96th Street Station contract related to the relocation of utilities.
  • Delay of the award of the 86th Street Cavern Mining contract, by five months, due to the need to obtain a "Buy America Waiver" from the FTA for part of the contact.
The report also includes a detailed Risk Assessment for 86th Street Station Cavern Mining contract.

Additionally, the report includes an interesting 3D view of the planned 86th Street station, shown below:

(*) Note: This 15-page report unfortunately is part of a 161 Mb PDF file on the MTA's web site. It may take some time to load if you click on the link. If the MTA had optimized the PDF file using Adobe Acrobat that could have reduced the file size to just 26 MB.


MTA Capital Program Milestones Report - p.38
as of 6/30/11
Location on the Internet: > About the MTA >
Capital Program > Resources > Capital Program Dashboard >
MTA Capital Program Milestones

The timeline consists of six months of historical events and
24 months of planned events.
2010-2014 Capital Program Milestones are tracked using colors: Green: on-time (early or within 0-3 months), Yellow: 4-6 months late, Red: 6 months late.


SAS - Contract C4B (72nd St. Station Cavern)
Community Air Monitoring Exceedances: 1/1/11 - 7/12/11
MTA Capital Construction

This report details air monitoring exceedances (dust and total volatile organic compounds) in and around the 72nd Street station cavern mining work zone.

The issue of dust and odors has been a concern for residents near this 72nd Street station work zone for some time. The matter was to be addressed at a special meeting of the Community Board 8 Second Avenue Subway Task Force last week. However, that meeting was cancelled after the MTA sent this letter to Community Board 8.

It is expected that air quality concerns will be discussed at the September meeting of the CB8 SAS Task Force, after the MTA has completed a review and study of the air quality due to the SAS construction activity.


Now on to a few other points of interest --

Long-term Construction Look Ahead Map
(Beta version)
MTA Capital Construction

MTA Capital Construction recently launched a new interactive Long-term Construction Look Ahead mapping tool on their web site.

The tool allows a user to view a map of the planned construction-related information for every block within the project corridor - from 63rd Street to 100th Street - on a quarterly basis through the middle of 2013. Information related to the later years of the project will be added in time.

To use the tool, click on the image above and then click on the word "Map" on the MTA's web page. Then click on any of the construction zone icons and a page will appear containing information on construction activities, location, duration of work and traffic restrictions.

You can move the map from left to right by moving the slider bar. You can also select a future period by clicking on one of the blue buttons. (For example, if you click on the Q3 button on the 2012 row, the site will display a map that details the planned construction-information for this period.)


MTA Capital Construction awarded the the 86th Street Station Cavern Mining and Heavy Civil Structure Contract, referenced as Contract C-26008, on 8/4/11 to the firm Skanska / Traylor JV. The award amount was $301,860,000, which was the low bid for this contract.

In related news, the MTA issued the following notice of Controlled Blasting for the 86th Street Station Access Shafts.

Blasting Notice - 86th Street Station Cavern Shafts

The notice says that the contractor will soon start blasting out two access shafts on the east side of Second Avenue at 83rd St Street (the South Shaft) and mid-block between 86th and 87th streets (the North Shaft).

According to the notice, blasting in the South and North Access Shafts (for 86th Street Station cavern) is permitted to take place between 6 a.m. and 12 a.m.
[These times are no longer valid - see the updates below]

Update - 8/15/11
Michael Grynbaum of The New York Times reported this morning, in his article "No Subway, but a Little Silence on Second Avenue", that the MTA has told its contractors that there should be no blasting on Second Avenue after 7 p.m., effective today.

Update - 8/23/11
The MTA just provided me with the following statement regarding the blasting on Second Avenue:


"In acknowledgement of community concerns related to late night blasting activities associated with the Second Avenue Subway Project, MTA Capital Construction has revised project blasting hours to address the issue.

As of Monday, August 15th, MTA Capital Construction has instructed its contractor that all blasting is to occur prior to 7 p.m. on a regular basis.

The following exceptions will apply:

· Blasting that would affect operations at Memorial Sloan-Kettering/ 64th Street Outpatient Center will be scheduled to occur later in the day to avoid interference with patient care.

· Unforeseen circumstances, limited to instances where there are safety concerns. In those limited instances where post 7 p.m. blasting becomes necessary, an email notification will be sent out to the Community Board, local elected officials and all interested community representatives.

Blasting times in the shaft are from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., with the two exceptions as noted above.

Blasting for excavation of the shaft at 86th Street will begin in approximately 2 weeks. Blasting for the [86th Street station] cavern will follow excavation of the shaft and we believe that will take place in approximately 2-3 months."


And finally a few images --

Here are two images of the work taking place deep inside the the Lexington Avenue/63rd Street station:

Source: Judlau Contracting web site

This would appear to be the out-of-service north side of the station.

Source: Judlau Contracting web site

This would appear to be a view of an unused portion at the east end of the station, under 3rd Avenue.


"The most powerful block in NYC that you’ve never heard of"
Untapped New York - 8/8/11

This image shows a section of the power distribution panel at the New York City Transit Power Control Center. Note the reference to the "future Second Ave. Line".

The designations G3-SB and G4-NB refer to the out-of-service tracks on the north side of the existing 63rd Street / Lexington Avenue station. These tracks will be used when Q Line service is extended to the Upper East Side under Second Avenue.

T1-SB and T2-NB refer to active F Line tracks on the south side of this station.


Last Reported Location
of the Tunnel Boring Machine
btw. 69th & 70th streets
as of 7/31/11

TBM Run No. 2 (east tunnel)
Tunnel length: 7,789 linear feet (LF)
Start: just south of 92nd Street
End: Lexington Av / 63rd St Station
5,956 LF mined as of 7/31/11
1,833 LF to run

July TBM Mining Data:
Distance mined: 1,468 linear feet (LF)
TBM mining days: 20
Avg. distance per day: 73.4 LF


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

"2nd Ave. Serenade"
By Danny Gold and Jennifer Fermino
The New York Post - 8/2/11
With over 800,000 views on YouTube, surely just about everyone must have heard of Gary Russo, the 2nd Avenue singing iron worker, by now.

"Second Ave. Concrete Meets Test"
By Allen Houston
Our Town - 8/10/11