Posts tagged with "MTA":

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Slideshow> The Manhattan Tunnels of East Side Access

The MTA has released a new batch of images of the under-construction tunnels for its “East Side Access” project. For the uninitiated, East Side Access is the agency's $10.8 billion plan to connect the Long Island Railroad with Grand Central Terminal. The project was initially scheduled to be completed by 2009, but, like so many large infrastructure projects, the East Side Access has been delayed. The project is now scheduled to open in 2023. All told, the project is expected to be $6.5 billion over budget. That was where things stood as of January. Just a few months later, though, there was more bad news for East Side Access. Newsday reported that  11 sinkholes were discovered by the MTA as it was digging in Long Island City.  The holes, which seem to be caused by heavy rain and loose soil, apparently didn't mess things up too much, however. A spokesperson for the MTA told Newsday that filling the sinkholes did not have a "measurable" impact on the project's budget or timeline. That's the good news. The bad news is that more sinkholes could form. In the meantime, construction is moving forward deep underneath New York City. Check out the MTA's latest photos of the project's Manhattan tunnels taken on July 29th.
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Anthony Foxx & Tom Prendergast Confirmed as Head of USDOT and NYC MYA

We've known for a while that Tom Prendergast and Anthony Foxx would be leading New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation for a while now, but now it's official. The New York State Senate has confirmed Prendergast has been appointed as the new chairman and CEO of the MTA and Congress has okayed President Obama's selection of Anthony Foxx as the new Secretary of Transportation. Prendergast, who has extensive experience working in the transit system, is replacing Joe Lhota who left the position to run for New York City Mayor. With Prendergast's new role comes the heavy responsibility of managing an annual $13 billion dollar budget and effectively serving 8.5 million commuters per weekday. Anthony Foxx, former mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, replaces Secretary Ray LaHood, a notable enforcer of safety who initiated a strong campaign against distracted driving. Foxx says that he will follow from LaHood’s example, making safety a priority as well.
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"Sky Reflector Net" Installed at Lower Manhattan's Fulton Center

Next year, when construction wraps up at the Fulton Center in Lower Manhattan, commuters will be gazing up, rather than around, at the station’s new artistic centerpiece—a curved, 79-foot-high reflective aluminum diamond web encased in a stainless-steel tracery. The showstopper will send ambient daylight into the mezzanines, passageways, and possibly even the platforms to help passengers orient themselves in the transportation hub. At $2.1 million, Sky Reflector-Net, an artist/architect/engineer collaboration between James Carpenter Design Associates (JCDA), Grimshaw Architects, and Arup, is an integrated work created for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Arts for Transit and Urban Design and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Capital Construction (MTACC). It is the largest such work that the MTA has ever commissioned. Sky Reflector-Net seamlessly incorporates both functional and aesthetic goals. The piece was recently installed within the transit center building designed by Grimshaw Architects and Arup. Arup is leading the 15-member sub-consultant team, which includes building design architect Grimshaw Architects, architect and historic preservationist Page Ayres Cowley Architects, architects HDR | Daniel Frankfurt. The general contractor for the Transit Center construction package (one of nine construction packages) is the Plaza Schiavone Joint Venture. Prismatic glass blades hanging at the top of the dome that cause the 8,500-square-foot surface to continually change by dispersing light rays throughout the station. Sky Reflector-Net consists of a stainless-steel lattice made of slender cables tensioned between two sizeable rings. The 53-foot-wide upper ring slants at a 23-degree angle. The 74-foot-wide lower ring sits at a 12-degree angle. The 952 perforated diamond-shaped and triangular aluminum panels each reflect approximately 95 percent of the light that strikes it. The largest reflective pane is just over eight feet tall.

Composed of 112 tensioned cables, 224 high-strength rods and nearly 10,000 individual stainless steel components, the design of the steel cable net sculpture emphasizes simplicity of construction and optimal performance in all environmental conditions. Arup developed 815 unique scenarios based on the possible permutations of air pressure, indoor temperature, and building movement within the Fulton Center dome. Each scenario produced a slightly different cable net shape. The net will assume these shapes over the course of its lifetime as the environmental conditions within the space change. Sky Reflector-Net is a powerful example of the capacity of a large tensile structure to define a landmark public space.

The Fulton Center serves the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, R, and Z subway lines and accommodates 275,000 passengers per day. The project is currently expected to cost a total of $1.4 billion, nearly twice the budget that was expected when the project began in 2003.

Video> Sandhogs Blast Bedrock Beneath Grand Central Terminal

New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has completed blasting through bedrock far below Grand Central Terminal for the East Side Access Tunnels that will connect the station with Sunnyside, Queens. As part of the announcement, one of the last production blasts from late March has debuted on YouTube. The video above reveals what has been transpiring beneath the streets of Manhattan during the tunneling process, and the sight is rather impressive. A camera caught the final blast that made way for a massive cavern. So far 2,424 production blasts have occurred below the commuter rail terminal station, which is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. For this explosion, sandhogs drilled more than 200 blast holes and loaded them with over 300 pounds of powder to guarantee a powerful explosion that could rival any action movie’s special effects.
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MTA Gears Up to Consider Bike Lanes Across Verazzano Bridge

With the launch of the Citi Bike share program around the corner, New York City's bike advocates are focusing their efforts on the next cycling obstacle: the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Harbor Ring, an advocacy project of the Regional Plan Association, is calling for a 50-mile cycling and pedestrian route encircling New York harbor. The group has published a new petition with over 1,000 signatures at press time pushing for the construction of a bike and pedestrian lane across the double-decked suspension bridge, which turns 50 next year. The Brooklyn Daily reported that bike advocates are hoping Governor Cuomo will support the proposal for the new bike path, which would not only connect Brooklyn and Staten Island, but also provide a critical connection for the Harbor Ring. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has said it will “consider conducting a feasibility study,” but not until 2014 or later. MTA spokesperson Judie Glave told the Daily, "MTA Bridges and Tunnels is considering this issue as part of a future Belt Parkway ramp reconstruction project." This proposal to add a bike path isn't new: A  feasibility study conducted in 1997 by the Department of City Planning revealed that it would be possible to build a bicycle lane without removing any vehicle lanes, but could cost around $26.5 million.
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Slideshow> Manhattan's Second Avenue Subway Pushes North

Manhattan's Second Avenue Subway continues construction on the island's east side. A new construction update from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority details excavation work at what will one day be the line's 86th Street station and the various pieces of heavy machinery that are used in the construction process. Take a look at the photos below and be sure to check out more spectacular tunneling photos from the Seven Line subway expansion and the East Side Access Tunnel for the Long Island Railroad. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow. All images courtesy the MTA / Patrick Cashin.
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Slideshow> New York Subway Construction Creates Enormous Cathedrals of Transit

There's plenty of tunneling going on underneath the streets of Manhattan. On the west side, digging through the city's bedrock has given way to interior station fit-ups for the Dattner-designed 7 line subway stations connecting Times Square to Hudson Yards as early as 2014. To the east, sandhogs continue to carve through solid rock for the $4.5 billion Second Avenue Subway Line while other crews outfit the tunnels with concrete and rebar. Between the two, more massive caverns are being opened up beneath Grand Central Terminal, which turned 100 this month, that will extend the Long Island Railroad to the famed station from Sunnyside, Queens in 2019. The $8.24 billion East Side Access Project will allow commuters to bypass Penn Station and enter Manhattan 12-stories below Grand Central. Now, the MTA has released a dramatic set of photos from inside the 3.5-mile-long tunnel, revealing enormous cathedral-like spaces connected by perfectly cylindrical tunnels. Take a look. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow. All images courtesy Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin. [Via Gothamist.]
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Slideshow> Second Avenue Subway Construction Update

The much-talked-about 7 line subway extension on Manhattan's West Side isn't the only mega-infrastructure project making progress in New York. Construction continues far below the streets of Manhattan's East Side as crews tunnel through bedrock for the Second Avenue Subway line. This week, the MTA released a gallery of photos showing construction progress on stations between 63rd and 73rd streets. The photos show the enormous rock caverns that will one day be subway stations being prepped with liners, rebar, and concrete casing. According to Gothamist, construction progress varies by station, with the 72nd Street station 96 percent complete and the 86th Street station 42 percent done. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow:
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Slideshow> Construction Update at Manhattan's 7 Line Subway Extention

Manhattan's newest neighborhood at Hudson Yards broke ground one week ago today, but the West Side area can be tricky to get to using the city's existing subway system. In 2014, however, the rumbling of trains far beneath the city's streets will stretch west from Times Square, extending the 7 Line subway a mile and a half over to 34th Street and 11th Avenue where Hudson Yards' first tower will be rapidly climbing at 30th Street and 10th Avenue. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has now shared a series of photos of the $2.4 billion, city-funded project, showing quite a bit of progress since AN toured the site one year ago this month. Most notable are the web of miles of conduit lining the walls and ceilings of the tunnels and the nearly complete ventilation towers rising near the Javits Center. Eventually, interior fit-ups will finish off the station's sleek interior with curving walls designed by Dattner Architects.
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Tragedy and Trials for Number 7

It was a tragic day for the Number 7 train extension project yesterday. A crane collapse killed one worker and injured four others on Manhattan's far west side. According to The New York Times the accident occurred around 7:30PM killing Michael Simermeyer of New Jersey. The accident occurs less than one month after crane collapse at One World Trade sent steel beams tumbling forty stories. Regional transportation also suffered a significant blow. Earlier in the day MTA chairman Joseph Lhota said that the proposed extension to Secaucus was not going to happen. The Wall Street Journal reports that Lhota gave the bad news to a group of construction industry officials. "I know there's an effort afoot to try to get the subway system to go to New Jersey. I told the mayor this, I told the deputy mayor this: I can't see this happening in our lifetime," he said.
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LA Parking Lot becomes Urban Oasis

What's the best place to build a wetland? How about at the site of an old MTA bus lot in South Los Angeles? It took more than $26 million and nearly three years to complete the transformation from parking lot to urban wetland. Open to the public as of February 9, the new South Los Angeles Wetland Park that doesn't only efficiently process storm water runoff--it also provides crucial community green space. As with many industrial environments, polluted storm water runs nearly unchecked to local water bodies, damaging habitats and freshwater supplies with the incursion of urban toxins. Before it was settled, South Los Angeles teemed with wildlife, oak forests, and dendritic streams feeding the Los Angeles River, but now that land has evolved into an impenetrable concrete cap. With backing from city councilwoman, Jan Perry, and  funds from Proposition O, the new park will reactivate the area's natural  functions with kidney-shaped storm water pools, deep cleaning retention basins, and banks of native plants chosen for their ability to clean water. The nine-acre site will also provide meandering boardwalks and promenades that traverse the wetland and create an urban oasis for an area of Los Angeles that sorely lacks green space. It takes a lot of time and a lot of space to clean up the runoff our cities create. Artificial wetlands may never serve the ecological functions once provided by the natural wetlands destroyed by development. However, there are environmental lessons in South Los Angeles to be learned by every city in the country. Blighted industrial lowlands? why not build a wetland?
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Quick Clicks> Domed City, Guggenheim on hold, Google's Secret Project, No-bin experiment

City of Scientists. Russian Prime Minister Putin has recently reviewed plans for a potential $6.4 billion project that could build a 5,000-person—scientists and researchers, specifically—domed village in the Arctic called Umka, about 1,000 miles from the North Pole. Plans call for an isolated artificial climate inspired by “an imaginary Moon city or a completely isolated space station." More on the Daily Mail and Foreign Policy Blogs. Abu Dhabi Adjourned. The new 450,000-square-foot Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim museum planned in Abu Dhabi has been put on hold pending contract review. A similar fate awaits Jean Nouvel's Louvre satellite previously scheduled to open near Gehry's site next year. More at Mediabistro. Sergey's Secret. Due to his prolific work ethic, the insider joke at Google is that co-founder Sergey Brin is really Batman. More believable, the latest Google rumor is that one of Brin's secret pet-projects may very well be architectural, with blueprints and all. Business Insider has details. No bin, no trash. The NY Times reports on the MTA's seemingly counter-intuitive enviro-social experiment to remove trash cans from subway platforms. The idea: no garbage bin might be the way to achieve no litter. A trial run in Queens and Greenwich Village left some people very unhappy.