posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 02:56 PM
reply to post by InshaAllah
It seems there is a bit of confusion with all the new tunnels being built under Manhattan right now.
The first tunnels are part of the "East Side Access" project which will be used to connect some of the LIRR commuter lines to eight new platforms
being built under Grand Central Terminal. When completed in 2018, the ESA project will allow commuters from Long Island to have easier access to the
east side of Manhattan through Grand Central Terminal, rather than travel to Penn Station on the west side of the city & then bus /subway /taxi /walk
over to their east side offices
The second tunnels are the new "Second Avenue Subway" project which when fully built sometime this millennium will be a new subway line under 2nd
Avenue running from 125th St to Hanover Square. Phase I of these tunnels are being built from East 92nd to East 63rd Streets with the tunnels south
of 72nd street curving west to connect with the existing subway station at 63rd St & Lexington. The unused half of the 63rd St station is being
opened up so instead of terminating at 57th & 7th, starting in 2016 the Q train on the BMT Broadway Line will travel through the 63rd St station &
terminate at the new subway station at 96th Street & 2nd Ave. The photos show the 2nd Ave Subway TBM machine ready to start the 'downtown' tunnel
bore in May 2010 and this was finished in Feb 2011. The TBM was partially dismantled and pulled back through the completed tunnel back to the
starting point at the 92nd St construction site and aligned with the starting hole for the 'uptown' tunnel (as seen on the left side of the photos).
Boring for the 'uptown' tunnel started in March 2011 and is expected to 'hole through' at the 63rd Street cavern sometime the week of 18 Sept
2011. This TBM machine will again be partially dismantled and pulled through the second tunnel back to the 92nd St construction site where it will be
dismantled and sent back to its owners. This particular TBM machine has been used since the 1980s on various tunnel projects around the world.
Between projects it is taken apart & refurbished so it is ’like new’ for the next project it is sent to.
The third tunnels are the new "7 Extension" project which are new tunnels being built from Times Square under 41st St to 11th Ave, then under 11th
Ave to 23rd St with a new subway terminus station at 34th St. This extension is a key element of the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project, and is
intended to jump-start the redevelopment of the west side of Midtown Manhattan around the West Side Yard of the Long Island Rail Road. The
‘downtown’ and ‘uptown’ tunnels were dug at the same time using two TBM machines and they were finished in July 2010. These TBM machines were
fully dismantled and sent back to their owner for use on future tunneling projects. When this project is finished, the 7 line trains will run through
Times Square to the 34th St terminus station. The tunnels south of 34th street are to be used for storing subway trains between rush hours.
The original posting was mixing up these various tunnel projects.
It is true that part of a TBM machine will be left behind underground, but it is only the cutter head of the TBM being used to build the ESA project
tunnels. The ESA tunnels are being built south of Grand Central Terminal under Park Ave to about 37th St so LIRR trains can be stored there between
the rush hours. Because of the distance from Park & 37th back to the construction box in Queens, the TBM will be completely dismantled right in the
tunnel & taken through the tunnels in pieces back to the Queens construction site. The only part that can’t be easily removed is the cutter head
itself, so it will be left where it stopped and concreted in place to form the end of the tunnel.
The TBM machines being used for the 7 line Extrension project have already been sent back to their owner for refurbishing, and the TBM being used for
the 2nd Ave Subway project will be sent back to its owner later this year. No parts of these machines will be left behind in their tunnels like is
being done with the cutter head for the ESA tunnels