In the aftermath of yesterday’s explosion in the 72nd St. station cavern, the MTA has suspended work at the site pending an investigation. Neighbors and politicians, long wary of the disruptive project, are clamoring for answers, and MTA head Joe Lhota hopes to give them some. He said in a statement released late last night:
“What happened at the Second Avenue Subway construction site today is completely unacceptable. The MTA is investigating what went wrong and will not resume work at the 72nd Street site until we receive a full explanation for what happened and a plan to make sure it does not happen again. While I am thankful that no one was injured today, I fully understand why neighbors of the construction site are upset. I am, too. The safety of the community is the MTA’s utmost priority. We will continue working with the community to ensure their concerns are heard and acted upon.”
Meanwhile, as information begins to trickle out, there are some causes for concern. Despite the overall safety of this project — it’s orders of magnitude safer than it was 100 years ago — the contractors may not be doing enough to fully ensure the protection of these active work zones. One source said to amNew York’s Marc Beja that the deck on the street was “not able to withstand the force of the blast because it was not anchored in.” I’m sure we’ll hear more stories like this in the coming weeks.