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Excavation of West Tunnel for Second Avenue Subway Complete

The tunnel boring machine (TBM) that has been making its way down Second Avenue has completed its first run. The TBM mined approximately 7,200 feet and completed the west tunnel for the future Second Avenue Subway.

The 485-ton, 450-foot-long machine began mining in May 2010 from 92nd Street marking a significant milestone in Phase 1 of the MTA's Second Avenue Subway construction project, which is on schedule to be completed by December 2016.

The TBM will now be disassembled and pulled back to 92nd Street where it will start its second run to mine the east tunnel in the spring.

The TBM was originally manufactured by The Robbins Company about 30 years ago. It was first used to dig the MTA's 63rd Street Tunnel in the late 1970's and has been used on at least four other projects. The machine has been reconditioned and was rebuilt in Newark, NJ. The TBM was most recently used on the Fall River CSO Project in Fall River, MA.

Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway will serve more than 200,000 people per day, reducing overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue Line and restoring a transit link to a neighborhood that lost the Second Avenue Elevated in 1940.

When Phase I is complete, it will decrease crowding on the adjacent Lexington Avenue Line by as much as 13%, or 23,500 fewer riders on an average weekday. It will also reduce travel times by up to 10 minutes or more (up to 27%) for those on the far east side or those traveling from the east side to west midtown.

The line is being built in phases, with the Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway providing service from 96th Street to 63rd Street as an extension of the Q train, three new ADA-accessible stations along Second Avenue at 96th, 86th and 72nd Streets, and new entrances to the existing Lexington Av/63 Street Station at 63rd Street and Third Avenue.