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Some day you'll catch the T train here!
We'll start our tour at one of two "muckhouses"âthese are enormous sheds that surround the main access portals to construction site. Just before our tour, construction workers triggered one of the excavation blasts using a detonator placed on that table in front.
Here's Michael Horodniceanu, the President of the MTA Capital Construciton company, giving us some background about the line. He's also in charge of the other major capital projects: the 7 Line extension, the Fulton Street Transit Center, and East Side Access. One of his favorite expressions is "there is no immaculate construction," but he believes it's worth the inconvenience, because "it's not a choice"—the city needs better mass transit to stay competitive with other world capitals.
Construction workers keep track of each other using this board.
This is one of the two main access shafts going down to the 72nd Street cavern.
Here's the other main access shaft. The stations are about 100ft below the street.
Here we're looking north in the main cavern of the new 72nd Street Station. The station will have two tracks around a central island. A third track was planned to make it easier to re-route trains around each other, but was scrapped because of cost concerns. Trains can still be routed around each other using "crossovers," which are special crossing tracks at either end of the station.
Another view of the main cavern.
Here we're looking south in the main cavern. The portal on the upper left is one of the two main access points for riders.
A view of the walls. The entire cavern has to be waterproofed with concrete after it is blasted out.
Here's the machine that sprays compressed concrete on to the walls to form a base for the waterproofing.
Here we're looking at one of the blasting areas. Those pink dots are where they will drill in 8' holes, fill them with explosives, and blast away the rock. The blasts are quite substantial; they set one off just before the tour and up on the street it sounded like a low, bone-shaking roar. The noise and shaking has set off some complaints from neighborhood residents, which the MTA is trying to deal with. They've restricted blasting hours to before 7pm, started monthly tours of the site for residents, and begun monitoring for air pollutants. A workshop for neighborhood residents is scheduled for March 20th, if you want to speak to them directly about any concerns.
Now we'll take a quick walk south, into the tunnels leading to the F station at 63rd and Lex.
First, let's let this really cool flat bulldozer pass!
Hmmm, where's his face mask?
This is facing south on the Western Tunnel. Note the metal ribs maintaining the structural integrity of the tunnel.
This is back in the East Tunnel. Beyond that portal is the eventual Stage 3 site of the project, which would extend the line directly south on 2nd Avenue as far as Houston Street. For now, the line will turn west, connecting to the F station at 63rd and Lex, before continuing West under Central Park to the Q Line.
A concrete platform being poured in the East Tunnel.
One of the crossover points between the two tunnels.
An NBC reporter takes a self portrait in the East Tunnel.