The MTA hosted no ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday nor did local politicians make the trek underground to mark the occasion, but this past week was a big one for the Second Ave. Subway. Adi, the tunnel boring machine that had recently finished digging out the west tunnel, got to work on the east tunnel, the MTA has announced.
Since June 2010, Adi had been hard at work digging out 7162 linear feet for the western tunnel. It mined from 92nd St. underneath 2nd Ave. to 65th Street. Crews will have to blast out the final three blocks to connect the eventually downtown track with the preexisting tunnel underneath 63rd St.
The eastern tunnel, though, will connect through to the unused half of the F train’s 63rd St./Lexington Ave. stop. The second tunnel will be 7800 feet long, and the authority described the route: “On its journey, the second tunnel will make a tight, westerly curve into the existing 63rd Street Station. Once completed, the tunnel will receive the concrete lining which provides the permanent tunnel structure.”
The MTA again reiterated that the Second Ave. Subway remains on track for a December 2016 revenue service date, but as we know, the authority’s construction timelines tend to be somewhat flexible near the end. No matter the eventual wrap date for Phase 1, it seems as though economics, politics and a tunnel boring machine will push the Second Ave. Subway off the pages of the city’s history books and onto the subway map before too many years are up. Too much work has happened for the line to fail now.