The TBM Main Beam arrives at Second Ave.

By · Published in 2010

Last night, at approximately 9 p.m., the Main Beam of the tunnel boring machine arrived at the Second Ave. Subway launch box. Ben Heckscher from The Launch Box was on hand to snap some photos. He captured the above shot at 10:33 p.m as the beam — the part of the TBM that sits behind the cutterhead — was lowered underground. Rumor has it that the cutterhead itself will be arriving later this week, and I’ll try to get some pictures of it. For more photos and information about last night’s Main Beam drop, check out the latest from The Launch Box.

To accommodate delivery and installation of the TBM, Second Ave. will be largely closed to traffic. Up to three lanes will be shuttered at various times over night between now and the end of the month, and for more on those closures, check out Dan Rivoli’s coverage in Our Town.

10 Responses to “The TBM Main Beam arrives at Second Ave.”

  1. Jerrold says:

    “……….information about last night’s Mean Beam drop…….”

    You mean MAIN beam, right?
    What’s MEAN is the way this is being done 75 years later than it should have been done.

  2. Alon Levy says:

    The importance of this is symbolic. Tunneling with a TBM is a small part of the total cost and time of a project. It may not even cost much more than in comparable cities. Most of the cost is in assembling the launch box, relocating utilities, and building the stations.

    • Woody says:

      Interesting. But don’t underestimate that symbolic importance. Neither the Governor nor the Mayor will show up for any ceremony marking the completion of the relocation of the sewer pipes and cable lines. And when the public hears that they are at last actually digging the tunnel, it will be very, very hard for even our broke governments to stop the work.

      I’m holding my breath for them to start the tunnel boring. Then, with stations costing almost half a billion each these days, I could maybe see us getting only one or two stations for now instead of the promised three. But even one would make a huge difference.

      • Alon Levy says:

        I’m not underestimating it. I know it’s important for PR and media, just like facts like “The TBM is burrowing X meters per day and will get to its destination at date Y.”

        But still, completing the stations is arguably just as important, because that’s where the community impacts are. TBM or no TBM, the businesses at 96th and 2nd would probably not be happy about enduring so much misery and not even getting a subway at the end.

        And I wish New York stations had cost only half a billion. The SAS station pricetags are a billion apiece.

        • Woody says:

          Ouch. A billion. I was going by the estimated cost of putting a station on the #7 extension at 42nd St @ 11th Avenue.

          I’m certainly not advocating skipping any station on Phase I. But if it looks like they’re falling short of funding by, say, a million bucks, I can see how they might sacrifice a station before again postponing finishing the rest of the stub.

          Well, I’m not an optimist on the economy, I think plenty misery lies ahead. But I expect they’ll find the money to finish Phase I, even if Schumer and Obama have to pay for all the rest of it. (All bets are off if the Party of No wins control of the House. THAT would mean No more money for NYC.)

          • Woody says:

            Meant to say if they are short a Billion — B as in billion — bucks to get it finished. And actually, I don’t think they are short that much, unless the State or City reneges on promised support.

  3. Jerrold says:

    It’s been corrected now.

  4. Al D says:

    I feel bad for the residents there. Do they ever get a respite?

    • I feel maybe 10 percent bad for the residents. It’s a lot of construction and a lot of noise, and many of the buildings were in bad shape to begin with. But we desperately need some transit expansion over there, and it just has to get built.


  1. […] Heckscher and The Launch Box — is of the Cutterhead Support. This piece will go in between the Main Beam and the Cutterhead. It arrived on site last night after crossing the George Washington Bridge at 8 […]

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