Thursday, March 3, 2011

Another View

It's safe to say that I'm not the only person taking pictures of the construction work on Second Avenue.

Often when I'm out walking, I observe people stopping to look at the ongoing construction work. They often pause to get a closer look at the machines, and men and women, who are working daily to build the new line. Many people bring along their kids, who never seem to tire of watching the complex operations.

Sometimes, I observe people using a mobile phone or camera to capture what they see. Why they do this is not always clear. Maybe to augment their memory, or maybe to share on sites like Facebook, or maybe just because they feel they should take a picture. Surely most of the shots they take won't be mounted in albums, or even printed!

I remember well the evening last spring when they lowered the cutterhead for the TBM down into the launch box. On that warm evening, almost everyone who was out and about stopped to watch what was happening, and take pictures -- including me.

Recently I discovered, on the Internet, that photographer David Beckerman ( also has been out taking pictures of the scene on Second Avenue.

With his permission, I've posted a few of Beckerman's images for others to enjoy. (If you click on any image, you will be taken to David's blog where you can read more about a particular photograph.)

"Become Your Dream"
Photograph by David Beckerman

Photograph by David Beckerman

Photograph by David Beckerman

"Delivery on Second Avenue"
Photograph by David Beckerman

"2nd Avenue Subway, Scaffold"
Photograph by David Beckerman

Photograph by David Beckerman

Photograph by David Beckerman

Photograph by David Beckerman

Additional images, taken by other photographers, can be found in the Second Avenue Subway Construction Pool on the Flickr web site.

Going forward, I'm planning to incorporate yet more images from other photographers on this blog, so stay tuned.


Here's a link to MTA Capital Construction's 4Q2010 report to Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which was recently posted on the MTA's web site:

Second Avenue Subway, Phase I Quarterly Report to the FTA
MTA Capital Construction

This 27-page reports includes a great deal of detail on the project, as one might expect.

After looking through the report, I pulled out the following highlights that I thought readers of this blog might be interested in:
  • The forecast date for revenue service on the new line under Second Avenue remains December 30th, 2016.
  • The current schedule includes 176 calendar days of schedule contingency(*). This is an eight day improvement over the 168 day number detailed in the 3Q2010 FTA report.
  • The Final Design of the remaining contracts, for Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway, has now been submitted by MTACC's Designer - which means that the project's design phase is now complete.

(*) Schedule contingency is planned extra duration in the schedule to allow for unexpected delays.

Here's a copy of the current Schedule and Proposed Schedule for the project:

Quarterly Reports to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
Second Avenue Subway, Phase I, page 21

MTA Capital Construction


Elsewhere on the MTA's web site, I came across a new 24 month Look-ahead schedule for the project:

Capital Program Milestones 2010-2014, page 37
MTA Capital Construction
as of January 1, 2010


To shift gears - just a bit - away from the schedules and the plans and the charts...

Have you ever wondered what kind of job titles might apply to the men and women whose job it is to work down in the tunnels?

Here's a job title listing that I came across a few weeks ago for the so called Free Air Tunnel Workers, a.k.a. The Sandhogs.

Maintenance Men
Inside Muck Lock Tenders
Pump Men
Cement Finishers
Hydraulic Men
Shield Men
Monorail Operators
Motor Men
Conveyor Men
Powder Carriers
Pan Men
Chuck Tenders
Track Men
Cable Men
Hose Men
Grout Men
Gravel Men
Form Workers
Concrete Workers
Tunnel Laborers
Mole Nipper

(I'd love to know what a Mole Nipper does.)


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

Capital Investment Program Project Profile - 11/10
Second Avenue Subway - 11/2010
Federal Transit Administration