New Yorkers have been waiting since 1929 for the Second Avenue Subway, and the MTA project is finally set to become reality (if all goes well) with the opening of its first phase in 2016. Now the MTA is telling the amazing story of how the Second Avenue Subway was built with a new exhibit entitled En Route: The Techniques and Technologies Used to Build the Second Avenue Subway. The show is currently open to the general public at the MTA Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center (CIC), which is located at 1628 Second Avenue between 84th and 85th Streets.
The exhibit demonstrates the 13 construction technologies used to build New York City’s first major subway expansion in 70 years. Techniques such as tunnel boring, controlled blasting, cut and cover excavation and air scrubbers are explained via multimedia displays.
Stories about how creative the construction project team had to be at times are also told on the screens. For example, when an obstruction prevented excavation, a large diameter pipe was driven into the slurry next to the obstacle so that a diver could go into the pipe and use an underwater blow torch to cut through the pipe and remove it.
The exhibit also features a virtual tour of the 86th Street cavern and tunnel, a replica of the tunnel boring machine and a scale model of the 96th Street station.
Phase One is expected to reduce overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue Line. The Second Avenue Subway will eventually extend from 125th Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in the Financial District with a provision for expansion to Brooklyn. The expected completion date for the entire 8.5 mile line on Manhattan’s East Side is the year 2029, with 560,000 daily riders projected.
Images via MTAPhotos