Friday, December 9, 2016

The Final Push

Will it open on time, or not - that is the question of the day.

I ventured out last Wednesday to have a look at the work sites along Second Avenue and what I saw was not pretty.

What I expected to see was a set of new subway entrances and ancillary buildings that were finished. Instead what I saw was an army of construction workers, supervisors, inspectors, consultants, engineers, MTA officials, and others racing to complete a project that first broke ground back in 2007.

Reliable sources have told me that Governor Cuomo has been on site three times in the past few weeks and that he is pushing the MTA very hard to get the line open by the end of 2016. Sources tell me that many contractors now have people working 24/7 -  three shifts, seven days a week.

Other reliable sources tell me that the line will open, in some form, on Friday, December 30th, 2016. (it appears now that the line will open on January 1, 2017) What this exactly means is not clear but it would seem that if there is a will (of the Governor) there must be a way. Right?

We should know for sure next week when the MTA Board of Directors holds their last meetings before the end of the year.

Update | December 10, 2016

"Governor Cuomo visits 2nd Ave Subway Station in New York City"
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo | December 9, 2016 | via Flick
(click on the photo above to view all 12 images)

Governor Andrew Cuomo toured the active 72nd Street Station work site on Friday, December 9th.

Melissa DeRosa, Governor Cuomo's Chief of Staff, said, "Governor Cuomo visits the Second Avenue subway several times a week and holds weekly meetings with the MTA and its contractors. Today was another one of those visits. The Governor believes the progress is encouraging and he's cautiously optimistic about hitting the January 1 deadline."

Oddly, the images show that the Governor was not wearing a hard hat or protective glasses during his tour of the job site.

Update | December 11, 2016

"Governor Cuomo Visit 2nd Ave Subway 86th St Station"
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo | December 11, 2016 | via Flick
(click on the photo above to view all 8 images)

Governor Cuomo drops in to tour the progress at another station.

A note about the posting that follows:
Click any of the station signs to view a map that shows the location of each new subway entrance.

Upper level - looking east

This is an image of the upper level of the existing Lexington Av/63rd St station. The train arriving is a Manhattan-bound F train. On the opposite side of the platform is the track that leads to the new tunnel under Second Avenue.

Upper level - looking east

A view of one of the new stairways that connect the upper and lower levels of this station.

Lower level - looking east

F Line trains use the tracks on the right and Q Line trains will use the tracks on the left.

Further information on the reconstruction of this station can be found in this earlier report:
"Behind the Blue Wall" | The Launch Box | October 21, 2012

Now let's go up to street level to have a look at the new entrances that will provide access to the east end of the Lexington Av/63rd St platform.

63rd Street & 3rd Avenue

A view of the new elevator entrance on the NW corner and the new entrance on the SW corner.

63rd Street & 3rd Avenue

A view of the new entrance on the NE corner.

63rd Street & 3rd Avenue

A view of the new entrance on the SE corner.

The images that follow show on-going work at the street level entrances to the new 72nd Street Station on Second Avenue. As the images show, there is still a considerable amount of work that still needs to be accomplished before these entrances can be opened to the public.

69th St - looking south

A view of one of the two entrances been constructed in a bump-out on Second Avenue near the NE corner of this intersection. If I'm not mistaken, the original plan was to construct this entrances inside the building at this corner but for many reasons this plan was changed.

btw. 69th & 70th streets - looking south

Another view of the new entrances on this location.

72nd St - looking east

A view of the new elevator entrance on the SE corner of this intersection. The entrance consists of a bank of five elevators.

72nd St - looking east

The image shows a flock of birds flying above the new elevator entrance at this location. The birds are not actually real - they are part of the artwork that has been installed at this entrance.

72n St - looking east

A man waiting for an elevator or a work or art? You be the judge.

72nd St - looking NW

A view of the massive 8-story tall ancillary building that has been constructed at the NW corner of this intersection. This structure also includes a new entrance to the station.

2nd Av, just north of 72nd St - looking west

Workers dealing with a few issues at this entrance location.

Look carefully and you can see something quite odd in this image. So why is there a balloon flying under the roof here?

I was fooled by what I saw when I took this shot. It wasn't until the following day when I was editing that I noticed that this image includes a lifesize piece of artwork.

83rd St - looking south

A view of the new entrance to the 86th Street station at this location.

Just south of 86th St - looking north

The worker in this image is measuring the sound level at this location. The worker is collecting data to verify that the sound that being produced by the nearby jackhammer work is not louder than what is permitted.

Just north of 86th St - looking south

Ongoing work at 86th street. The building on the right is an ancillary structure for the new subway line. The new entrances at this location are on 86th Street on the east side of Second Avenue.

Just south of 94th St - looking west

A view of the new entrance on the SW corner of 94th and Second Ave.

just north of 94th St - looking south

A view of a new entrance on the NE corner of 94th and Second Avenue

96th St, NE corner - looking SE

A view of the new entrance on the SW corner of 96th and Second Avenue - which includes both an escalator entrance and an elevator entrance.

95th St - looking north

A very active work site at this location.

97th St, NE corner - looking SW

The ancillary building for the 96th Street station.

Interested in what's next for the Second Avenue Subway? Then get yourself over to the official Second Avenue Subway Community information Center at 1628 Second Avenue, btw. 84th and 85th streets. The staff there can answer most any question that you might have about Phase I or Phase II of the project

Note that this office will most likely be moving to East Harlem at some stage in 2017 as Phase II of the project kicks into high gear.

Further details on the scanned images below.

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

"MTA Under Pressure to Open Second Avenue Subway"
By Mike Vilensky | The Wall Street Journal | December 5, 2016

"Second Avenue subway’s launch date may change, MTA warns"
By Vincent Barone | amNY | November 16, 2016

" ‘Unprecedented’ Work Required to Open 2nd Avenue Subway by Year’s End, Officials Say"
By Emma Fitzsimmons | The New York Times | November 14, 2016

"Changing Grid: Second Avenue Subway and Its Impact on Rental Costs"
By Mariela Quintana | StreetEasy Blog | November 9, 2016

"All aboard the Second Avenue Subway real estate boom"
By Roberta Bernstein | The New York Post | November 2, 2016