MTA wraps up blasting for Second Avenue Subway

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor
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MTA Capital Construction / Rehema Trimiew

All blasting operations for Phase 1 of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Second Avenue Subway Project are complete.


The Second Avenue Subway project, the largest expansion of the New York City subway network in generations, has reached major milestones in its on-time, on-budget progress to serve customers on Manhattan’s East Side by the end of 2016. Heavy construction to excavate and create the 96th St. station reached substantial completion November 5.

The final blast, which completed excavation for a future escalator entrance located on the north side of 86th Street and 2nd Avenue, took place November 18.

“This is a significant milestone and one which I am sure will be welcomed by all of our Second Avenue community neighbors,” said Michael Horodniceanu, president of MTA Capital Construction. “We are committed to continuing the progress on this project, which will be an enormous benefit to the entire community.”

The contractor Skanska/Traylor Joint Venture will continue to install waterproofing and steel reinforcement to complete the concreting of the underground cavern, entrances and ancillaries for the future 86th Street Station. The follow-on finishes contract, which will complete the mezzanine and platforms, station entrances, ancillary buildings and the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems for the station, was awarded to Schiavone/Picone Joint Venture on June 12, 2013.

The controlled blasting operations began with the first blast at 96th St. on November 4, 2009, and were employed in the construction of all of the cavern excavations for underground structures for the subway stations at 72nd, 86th and 96th streets. The 63rd St. Station is being reconstructed to connect the Second Avenue Subway into the existing Lexington Av-63 St Station. Work at that site involved excavation, muck removal and reconstruction of the structural elements within the existing station, for future extension of the Q Line.

“The completion of this contract was a monumental accomplishment,” Horodniceanu said. “It could not have been done without the hard work and dedication of a very motivated team.”

The $4.45-billion project to extend the Q Line along Second Avenue is the largest expansion of the subway system in generations. The subway line, with new stations at 72nd Street, 86th Street and 96th Street, is expected to open for service in December 2016.