giant rig carves new tunnel beneath nyc\'s streets

by:Gewinn     2019-09-03
David B. Friday, July 18, 2008
AP writer CARUSO New York-The 200-ton, tunnel-
The boring rig is one of two rigs that have carved a new pair of rail tubes, which will eventually allow Long Island commuter trains to connect with the central station for the first time.
The giant equipment imported from Italy landed in Queens last spring, crawling under the East River through an existing tunnel, and began chewing on the rock bed on the East Side of Manhattan in November.
At the end of June, it reached its goal in the depths of the central station and has since been slowly backing up to a new place where it will start working on another task related to the project.
The tunnel opened to reporters on Thursday was a miracle.
The tube is located about 140 feet below the surface, through strong enough rocks to support many nearby skyscrapers.
Today, it is still a dark and muddy place.
The groundwater is constantly penetrating, dripping down the smooth stone wall, mixed with the gray muck on the tunnel floor.
Construction workers are about 200 people a day, arriving by slow, noisy two
The train from Queens.
Sal Calvanico, the construction manager of the project, said the conditions inside were warm, wet and \"a little bad \".
Occasionally, the lights go out and let the sand pigs who built the tunnel fall into darkness.
Tunnel digging can be dangerous work, there are a lot of reminders about danger underground, from official signs with safety slogans, to graffiti on the wall, reminding workers in rude language, looking at their ass
\"We control the rocks.
\"The rocks can\'t control us,\" said veteran Dennis O\'Neill . \".
There is also a black humor in the job: \"How much more,\" on the long-distance train leading to the tunnel entrance, a little graffiti scribbled on the wall.
The boring machine is a train, a monster.
Including all trailing gear, the rig is nearly 360 feet long enough to include a tool shop, a small control room and a lounge with coffee makers and picnic tables.
Its head is a huge device to obtain leverage by grabbing the tunnel wall and then crushing anything in the path into muck using 45 steel cutting discs and a 6 million pound thrust.
The muck is then loaded onto the conveyor belt, which transports the muck back to Queens for 4 miles, and on the conveyor, the second conveyor system transports the muck to the ground and into a pit of hold
The truck carried it away at night.
When it runs at full speed, it is a disaster of noise and dust, yet it is almost invisible and inaudible to people on the street.
Although the tunnel is under landmark hotels such as Waldorf
Office buildings such as the Astoria and seoer buildings, the shock of the building rarely reaches the ground.
Traffic at Central Station and Park Avenue continues to operate without interference.
Workers will eventually install concrete lining inside the tunnel to prevent water accumulation.
A permanent railway bed will be laid.
The new Long Island railway terminal will be built in a cave north of the current central building.
The cave is expected to start blasting this month.
The Metropolitan Transport Authority, which owns and operates the rail line, said street noise would be similar to the sound of throwing a box of books in another room.
Work on the railway project is expected to continue until 2015.
Upon completion, it will allow 160,000 passengers to board each day from the Long Island Rail Road train on the East Side of Manhattan, instead of disembarking at the current stop at West End Penn Station.
A total of $7 is expected for the work. 2 billion.
On the Internet: Metropolitan Transport Administration: AP 2008.
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