Thursday, June 28, 2012

The View from 87th Street

With this posting we're going to take a closer look, again, at the work that's taking place in and around the future site of the 86th Street station.

Specifically we'll be looking at work taking place between 86th and 87th Streets where MTA contractor, Skanska/Traylor JV, has set up a mucking structure above the north access shaft.

The images that follow were taken by Bruce Martin, a long time resident of the neighborhood. As luck would have it -- perhaps not for him but for me -- he has a prime view that overlooks the construction site.

Each of the images, taken over the past few weeks, was taken from a residential vantage point above the southeast corner of 87th and Second Avenue. This view is looking south, down the Avenue.

Courtesy of Bruce Martin

A view of the nearly complete muck handling system at this location in late April. The access shaft is partially visible in the lower right quadrant of the image.

Courtesy of Bruce Martin

Workers in this image are lowering blasting mats over the shaft. The mats are are used to form a heavy tear-resistant covering over the surface during blasting.

Courtesy of Bruce Martin

A blasting mat being lowered (or raised) by the crane on the left.

Courtesy of Bruce Martin

Workers using water to reduce the dust after a blast.

Courtesy of Bruce Martin

In this image, it appears that a crane is temporarily removing a wooden cover that was placed over the north shaft.

Courtesy of Bruce Martin

The gantry crane in this image is in the process of lifting a load of "shot rock" (i.e. rock that has been blasted into smaller pieces) out of the access shaft.

Courtesy of Bruce Martin

A closer view of a load of rock.

Courtesy of Bruce Martin

Loads of rock that are positioned for dumping.

Apparently full loads of rock (in the blue muck bins) travel down the left side of the conveyor system. When the muck bins reach the white structure at the end of the conveyor, the bins are dumped into trucks waiting below. The emptied bin is then returned on the right side of the conveyor system.

Courtesy of Bruce Martin

A closer view of the blasted rock from below.

Courtesy of Bruce Martin

Workers can be seen here lowering mining equipment down into the access shaft. This machine would appear to be a rock drill.

Courtesy of Bruce Martin
looking NW

In this image workers are preparing to be lowered down into the work site below.

Courtesy of Bruce Martin
looking W

The yellow box, so I'm told, is called a "man cage."

Residents living on Second Avenue may be interested to learn that the MTA has recently started posting on their website a weekly summary of their air monitoring data.  The summary data can be found on this link:  

Second Avenue Subway - Air Monitoring Results
MTA Capital Construction

Ti-Wua Chang of Fox 5 News covered the MTA official announcement of this development. His report can be found on this link:
Video: "2nd Avenue subway construction air-quality readings"

In his report, Mr. Chang raised a very interesting point -- the fact that the summary data presented on the site shows average readings over a 24-hour period.  The graphs do not detail readings by time-of-day. So naturally one might wonder what the readings look like right after a blast has taken place.

To be clear, a very detailed air quality study was prepared by the MTA's contractor Parsons Brinckerhoff in late 2012. The study showed that the construction activities associated with this project do not pose a risk to public health.

In other news, the Federal Transit Administrations (FTA) recently released a PDF copy of the April 2012 Project Management Oversight Contractor (PMOC) Monthly Report for the Second Avenue Subway on its web site.

The report, which was prepared by the firm, Urban Engineers of New York, can be found on this link:
PMOC Monthly Monitoring Report - SAS - April 2012

The report includes lots of detailed information about the project.

Of particular note is this section of text on page 7:
Project schedule completion milestone dates remained essentially unchanged for this period. MTACC forecasts completion of all construction and NYCT Pre-Revenue Training and Testing by October 13, 2016, with 80 calendar days (57 WD) of contingency when measured against MTACC’s target Revenue Service Date (RSD) of December 30, 2016.
What this says, in so many words, is that the project should be complete by October 13, 2016 - if there are no delays that cause the schedule to slip.

Bottom line, as of now they are actually scheduled to finish the project about ten weeks ahead of the target Revenue Service Date, which is 12/30/2016.

Keep your fingers crossed.

And finally, here are a few recent images from various MTA sources:

Courtesy of MTA Capital Construction

A recent view of the 72nd Street Station cavern.

Courtesy of MTA Capital Construction

A view of one of the Horseshoe Tunnels.  Worker are in the process of waterproofing the tunnel.

Courtesy of MTA Capital Construction
looking east

A view of the stub cavern that is located east of of the existing Lexington Av/63rd Street station. In this image you can see both tunnels.

The two images that follow were taken inside the existing Lexington Ave/63rd Street tunnel.

Courtesy of MTA Capital Construction

Courtesy of MTA Capital Construction

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

"$324.6 Million NYC Second Avenue Subway Contract Awarded"
By Amelia Pang
The Epoch Times - 5/26/12

"MTA Unveils 2nd Ave Subway Air Monitoring Site"
By Amy Zimmer - 6/8/12

2nd Avenue Restaurant Week
Shop 2nd Avenue - 5/3/12

Video: Short subway line, $4.5 billion price tag
By Erica Fink
CNNMoney - 5/31/12

Video: MTA Construction Head Gives Students Second Avenue Subway Preview
By Tina Redwine
NY1 - 5/29/12

Glossary of Commonly Used Construction Terms
MTA Capital Construction

The MTA's latest Second Avenue Subway Newsletters
Issue IV - June/July 2012:

Lexington Av/63rd St Station Area Newsletter

72nd Street Station Area Newsletter

86th Street Station Area Newsletter

96th Street Station Area Newsletter

A Footnote:
My apologies for the month-long hiatus from my blogging duties.  I expect to be back out taking my own pictures soon.