As Second Ave. residents and business owners continue to bemoan and debate the impact of the ongoing construction, work underneath the avenue is continuing at a brisk pace. The MTA tells me that on Wednesday, Adi, the tunnel boring machine digging out the south tunnel, bore through a record-setting 102 feet. At the end of the day on Wednesday, the TBM had mined 2175 feet and was approaching 83rd St., nearly 10 blocks south of the launch block and 20 blocks north of its final destination.
Lately, the MTA’s pace has been far brisker than the 60 feet per-day average the contractors had anticipated, and those familiar with Manhattan’s geology tell me that this brisk pace is, unfortunately, unsustainable. The rock in the East 80s is far sturdier than the rock in the East 70s, and the TBM’s pace will probably slow to a mark closer to that average pace. Still, for a project slowed by, well, just about everything, this fast mining work is a bright spot of good news.