May 23, 2014
MTA Second Avenue Subway Launches New Exhibit: En Route: The Techniques and Technologies Used to Build the Second Avenue Subway
Have you ever wondered how a complex project like building a new subway is done? Now you can find out by visiting the MTA Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center (CIC), which just unveiled its new exhibit - En Route: The Techniques and Technologies Used to Build the Second Avenue Subway. The exhibit opens to the general public today. The CIC is located at 1628 Second Avenue, between 84th and 85th Streets.
The second of the CIC’s biannual exhibits will utilize interactive and static displays to demonstrate 13 of the construction technologies used to build the Second Avenue Subway, the first major expansion of the New York City subway system in 70 years.
“For those of you who have tried to get on one of my Saturday tours of the cavern just to find that it was already fully subscribed, we’ve added a virtual tour of the underground cavern to the new exhibit,” said, MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu. “And it really is the next best thing to being there.”
Techniques such as tunnel boring, controlled blasting, cut and cover excavation, air scrubbers, ground freezing and more are explained through photos, videos, and animations in an interactive exhibit using iPads to control the display on a wide screen TV. An entire wall of the CIC will display a cross section of the project from 63rd Street to 104th Street to illustrate the juxtaposition of the bedrock profile under the surface and the techniques used to cut through it and excavate above it.
The exhibit shows how creative the project team needed to be when they encountered an obstruction that prevented them from excavating. After trying just about every normal technique known in the industry to remove it, a large diameter pipe was driven into the slurry next to the obstruction. A diver then went into the pipe and used an underwater blow torch to cut it into pieces through holes in the pipe so the obstruction could be removed.
A virtual tour of the 86th Street cavern and tunnel is included in the new exhibit. Also part of the exhibit, the CIC will showcase two new models: a replica of the tunnel boring machine and a scale model of the 96th Street station.
The CIC is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m. and the second Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.
About the CIC
A first-of-its-kind facility, the CIC offers rotating exhibits and programming about the construction of the Second Avenue Subway. Located at 1628 Second Avenue, the center serves as a one-stop shop where Second Avenue residents, businesses, stakeholders and the general public can learn more about the project. Community liaisons are available to answer questions and address concerns. Since opening in July 2013, the CIC has welcomed more than 5,100 visitors, including neighborhood residents, tourists, and school groups from around the city.
About the Second Avenue Subway
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 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. Further phases of the project will extend the line from 125th Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in the Financial District.