Thursday, December 20, 2012

Seasonal Snapshots on the Avenue

As I've done in past years in December, I recently took a walk down Second Avenue to look for signs of the holiday spirit amid ongoing construction.

The pictures that follow were taken on two different Saturdays. They offer the viewer a collection of fall and early winter snapshots of the scene on Second Avenue.

93rd Street, SE corner - looking W

Amid the springy colors above, a Christmas tree is visible through the construction fencing.

97th Street - looking S

The contractor at this location is in the process of excavating material (earth and rock) from the cavern below street level.

The cavern will eventually house a tunnel that will connect the former TBM launch box cavern (between 92nd and 95th streets) with the existing tunnel under Second Avenue that starts near 99th Street.

The existing tunnel between 99th and 105th streets, which is not currently in use, was constructed back in the 1970s.

97th Street, SW corner

A view down into an excavated area near 97th Street.

The four steel pipe struts in this image are waiting to be installed inside the tunnel cavern that is being excavated under Second Avenue between 95th and 99th streets. Each strut weighs about 40,000 pounds.


An earlier image of the same location. Note the large corner bracing beams that are in use at this location.


An image of a pressure gauge that I noticed on the side of a tank inside the construction area.

btw. 96th and 97th streets, SE corner - looking W

Workers on a Saturday use a crane to reposition material inside the cavern below.

btw. 96th and 97th streets

Oblivious to plans and progress in the construction zone, a squirrel buries an acorn.

btw. 95th and 96th

A view of the temporary roadway decking above the cavern. In the 1970s, the contractors working on the Second Avenue subway up in Harlem used wooden timbers for roadway decking above their tunnel caverns.

btw. 93rd and 94th street - looking S

The drill rig on the left is being used to excavate a section of secant walls at this location.


A closer look at the sections of secant walls under construction at this location. Note the steel beams that have been placed inside each of these secant wall sections.

94th Street, SW corner - looking W

This would appear to be a concrete pumping station. Concrete is trucked to this location and then pumped (from the red skips) into the work area below ground.

According to a readers comment, the tanks in this image are being used to hold the spoils (excavated material) from the drilling of micropiles inside the old Rainbow Hardware store on this corner. This corner will become an entrance to the new 96th Street station.

93rd Street

A device that is being used for vector control, i.e. a rat trap.

Courtesy of Bruce Martin
87th Street, SE corner - looking SW

This image gives you an idea what is going on inside the muck house between 86th and 87th streets.

The blue skips are used hold the material that has been excavated from the cavern below until it can be trucked away.

The gray ductwork is part of the air scrubber system at this location.  The scrubber filters and cleans the exhaust air after blasting has taken place in the station cavern below ground.

btw. 85th and 86th Streets

Above, fall leaves gently cover the now quiet work site.

btw. 85th street - looking N

A set of holiday wreaths. The lighted digits "15" may represent Local 15 of the International Union of Operating Engineers.


A closeup of one of the wreaths.

The Christmas lights in the window are not a reflection -- they are actually hanging inside the structure.


1605 Second Avenue (btw. 83rd and 84th streets)

This sign, in the window of the "All Washed Up" laundromat on Second Avenue, announces that this location will soon be closing.

83rd Street, SW corner

This odd looking device is another one of the wet scrubbers that has been set up in support of the 86th Street station excavation project.

The machine is made by the company Schauenburg Flexadux Corporation. (Click on this link to see how this machine works.)


When I took these pictures, workers were in the process of building an enclosure around part of the machine.



A recent view of the scrubber - now with the housing in place.

btw. 82nd and 83rd streets, east side - looking N

Christmas wreaths on the doors of a local restaurant with signs of the ongoing construction on the left.

87th Street, SE corner

For the longest time a homeless man, Jose Perez, occupied this corner just north of the Food Emporium, together with his dog.

Sadly it has been reported the man has recently passed away.

Here are a few shots of the construction below ground, courtesy of the MTA.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

A view of the 72nd Street station cavern.  (I suspect that this is a view looking north, but I am not 100% sure of this.)

Blasting inside the main cavern is now complete and the MTA's  contractor is in process of waterproofing the structure.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

A view from inside one of the tunnels that connects the existing 63rd Street/Lexington Av station with the new 72nd Street station under Second Avenue.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

A view from inside the west crossover cavern just south of 69th Street under Second Avenue.

The tunnel on the right leads to the north side of the upper level of the 63rd Street/Lexington Av station.

In Phase III of the project, the MTA will mine a new tunnel into this cavern from the south. This new tunnel, which will break through the wall in this cavern just to the left of the existing tunnel, will allow this line to continue south under Second Avenue.

The following report was recently posted on the MTA's web site:

Second Avenue Subway
MTACC Quarterly Progress Report to Capital Program Oversight Committee
December 2012

Here's a summary of the report:

The project is "on budget" and is on schedule to meet the December 2016 revenue service date.

But with that said, the MTA's Independent Engineering Consultant believes that there are only 45 days of scheduled contingency remaining - which is not much, considering that there are still four years of work to do.

As I was putting this posting to bed this evening I came across the recent bid results for for the 72nd Street Station Finishes contract.

RFQ#: 35203
Bid Close Date: 12/18/2012 2:00:00 PM
Description: C-26011 72nd Street Station Entrances, Ancillary Buildings, Finishes and MEP Equipment (Second Avenue Subway Project)

Vendor Name / Bid:





Judlau Contracting is the MTA's contractor for the SAS 63rd St/Lexington Av Station Rehabilitation Contract.

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

"Residents Fear Future Storms Could Flood Second Avenue Subway"
By Victoria Bekiempis
DNAinfo - 12/19/12

Photos: "New York’s Second Ave. Subway Construction"
By Zachary Stieber
Epoch Times - 12/14/12

"Take the T Train"
By Liz Neumark
The Huffington Post - 12/11/12

"Second Avenue Subway Construction"
By Turner G. Cowles
Video (2:37)
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

"Don’t hold your breath"
By Kevin C. Brown
Remapping Debate - 12/5/12

"The Second Avenue NYC Subway Dig, part 1"
Video (3:16) - 10/12

"The Second Avenue NYC Subway Dig, part 2"
Video (3:16) - 10/12


In Other News:

The Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) that mined the tunnels for the Second Avenue Subway has found a temporary new home, in Indianapolis, Ohio, where it soon will be hard at work mining a new wastewater tunnel to the Belmont Wastewater Treatment Plant.

"TBM Gets Wastewater Retrofit"
Trenchless International


Anonymous said...

great photos. I feel sorry for the poor deluded squirrel.

mkeit said...

The photo "94 St SW" is not a concrete pumping area. The subcontractor, Nicholson, is installing minipiles inside the old hardware store. The open tanks are used to hold the spoil from the drilling.They ARE also pumping grout with the small mixers.

The Launch Box said...

Thank you for the correction. I've updated the posting with this new information.