72nd Street (Second Avenue Subway)

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Not to be confused with 72nd Street (IRT Second Avenue Line).
72nd Street
under construction
Future New York City Subway rapid transit station
Second Avenue Subway Update- 72nd Street Station (21418943438).jpg
Station construction in September 2015
Station statistics
Address 72nd Street & Second Avenue
New York, NY 10021
Borough Manhattan
Locale Upper East Side, Lenox Hill
Coordinates 40°46′7.72″N 73°57′30.37″W / 40.7688111°N 73.9584361°W / 40.7688111; -73.9584361Coordinates: 40°46′7.72″N 73°57′30.37″W / 40.7688111°N 73.9584361°W / 40.7688111; -73.9584361
Division B (IND)
Line       IND Second Avenue Line
Services under construction
Transit connections Bus transport NYCT Bus: M15 (SB), M72
Structure Underground
Platforms 1 island platform
Tracks 2
Other information
Opened December 30, 2016; 3 months' time (2016-12-30)[1][1][2][3] (Planned)
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Station succession


Next Handicapped/disabled access north 86th Street: under construction
Next Handicapped/disabled access south Lexington Avenue – 63rd Street: no regular service

72nd Street is an under construction station on the first phase of the Second Avenue Line of the New York City Subway.[4][5][6] Located at the intersection of Second Avenue and 72nd Street on the Upper East Side, it is expected to open on December 30, 2016, with the Q train providing full-time service, and by some N trains during rush hours.[1][2][3][7][8][9] This is the southernmost station on the first phase of the Second Avenue Line; south of this station, the BMT 63rd Street Line diverges to the west, towards the Lexington Avenue – 63rd Street station.

Station layout[edit]

G Street level Exits/Entrances
B1 Upper Mezzanine Fare control, station agent, MetroCard vending machines
Escalators, elevator, and stairs to Exits/Entrances and lower mezzanine
B2 Lower Mezzanine Staircases and elevators to platforms
B3
Platform level
Southbound No service (present)
NYCS-bull-trans-Q.svg (under construction) toward Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue (Lexington Avenue–63rd Street)
Island platform, not in service
Northbound No service (present)
NYCS-bull-trans-Q.svg (under construction) toward 96th Street (86th Street)
Platform level with recess in ceiling for future staircases
View of tunnels at the end of the station cavern

The station is built so that it is more wide open than most other underground subway stations in the system, like other Second Avenue Subway stations but unlike existing New York City Subway stations.[10][11] Due to its openness, the station was likened to a Washington Metro station by Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, President of MTA Capital Construction.[12] The platform is approximately 99 feet (30 m) below ground.[13] The platform for the 72nd Street station, like the other Second Avenue Subway stations, is 27.8 feet (8.5 m) wide.[14]

The station will have air-cooling systems to make it at least 10 °F (6 °C) cooler than other subway stations during the summer.[15] This will require the station to have large ventilation and ancillary buildings, rather than traditional subway grates.[16] The station will also be compliant with current fire codes, whereas most existing stations are not.[17] Additionally, the station will be waterproofed with concrete liners and fully drained.[11]

Track layout[edit]

The 72nd Street station was conceived as a three-track station with two island platforms,[18] but prior to construction was reduced to a two-track, one-island platform station, due to the high cost of building a three-track, two-platform station.[19][20] Additionally, the station's width was shaved back from 100 feet (30 m) to 70 feet (21 m).[19] The platform will be 27.8 feet (8.5 m) wide.[21]

Diamond crossovers will be located in the cavern both north and south of the station, with a flying junction to the BMT 63rd Street Line via tracks G3 and G4 just south of the southern crossover.[11][20][22] The station cavern, which includes both crossovers, is 1,300 feet (400 m) long.[11] South of this station there will be provisions for the Second Avenue Subway to continue further south via Second Avenue. The tracks would pass over track G4, which connects the BMT 63rd Street Line to the uptown Second Avenue Subway track, track S2.[22]

Artwork[edit]

Station artwork will be the artwork "Perfect Strangers" by artist and photographer Vik Muniz.[23][24] In February 2014, Muniz was chosen in a MTA Arts for Transit competition with more than 100 entrants.[25]

Entrances, exits, and ancillary buildings[edit]

Muck house

The current station layout includes 3 numbered entrance and exit sites, all of which are under construction;[11] this includes 11 escalators in addition to 5 elevators.[26][27] Also under construction are two ancillary buildings that will contain station equipment.[28] One building at the northwest corner of Second Avenue and 72nd Street will contain both ancillary equipment and a station entrance.[29]

The entrances and exits will be located at:

Location Exit Type Number of exits
Entrance 1
NE corner of Second Avenue and 69th Street
Staircase
Escalator
2
Entrance 2 (at Ancillary 2)
Building, NW corner of Second Avenue and 72nd Street
Staircase
Escalator
1
Entrance 3
SE corner of Second Avenue and 72nd Street
Elevator Handicapped/disabled access 5

The two ancillary buildings will be located at:

  • Ancillary 1: Northwest corner of 69th Street and Second Avenue[30]
  • Ancillary 2: Northwest corner of 72nd Street and Second Avenue[30]

In August 2008, some area residents filed a lawsuit in opposition to a proposed entrance at 72nd Street between First and Second Avenues, in front of a residential building, prompting the MTA to move the subway entrance to the southeast corner of Second Avenue and 72nd Street.[31][32] In 2013, the MTA filed to change the location of Entrance 1, moving it onto from the sidewalk, away from its original proposed location inside 301 East 69th Street. This was because designs for entrances inside the building failed to both satisfy the building's residents as well as meet the MTA's engineering requirements. With the Department of Transportation planning a bike lane along the east side of Second Avenue after construction is finished, the MTA could widen the sidewalk to make room for the entrances without ultimately disrupting traffic flow.[33][34]

History[edit]

Completed station cavern
Waterproofing work
Arch form work

Background[edit]

The Second Avenue Line was originally proposed in 1919 as part of a massive expansion of what would become the Independent Subway System (IND).[35][36]:203 Work on the line never commenced, as the Great Depression crushed the economy.[37] Numerous plans for the Second Avenue Subway appeared throughout the 20th century, but these were usually deferred due to lack of funds. In anticipation of the never-built new subway line, the Second and Third Avenue elevated lines were demolished in 1942 and 1955, respectively.[38][39] The Second Avenue Elevated had one station in the vicinity of the under-construction 86th Street station at 72nd Street. The Third Avenue Elevated had two nearby stops on nearby Third Avenue at 67th Street and 76th Street. The 72nd Street station will essentially be their replacement.

Planning[edit]

As part of the New York City Transit Authority's 1968 Program for Action, the construction of the full-length Second Avenue Subway was proposed. It was to be built in two phases—the first phase from 126th to 34th Streets, the second phase from 34th to Whitehall Streets.[40][41] The line's planned stops in Manhattan, spaced farther apart than those on existing subway lines, proved controversial; the Second Avenue line was criticized as a "rich man's express, circumventing the Lower East Side with its complexes of high-rise low- and middle-income housing and slums in favor of a silk stocking route.”[36]:218 People protested for almost a year over the lack of stations at 72nd Street, and a stop at Lenox Hill (72nd Street[42]) station was added in October 1970.[36]:220

In 1999, the Regional Plan Association considered a full-length Second Avenue Subway, which included 72nd Street as one of its planned 31 stations.[43] The entrances to 72nd Street station were to be located at 70th, 72nd, and 74th Streets.[43] The final environmental impact statement was released for the station in April 2004.[44] The initial design of the 72nd Street station lasted about eight years, between 1999 and 2007.[11]

In November 2007, Mary Peters, the United States Secretary of Transportation, announced that the Second Avenue Subway would receive $1.3 billion in federal funding for the project's first phase, to be funded over a seven-year period.[45] However, due to cost increases for construction materials and diesel fuel affecting the prices of contracts not yet signed, the MTA announced in June 2008 that certain features of the Second Avenue Subway would be simplified to save money. One set of changes, which significantly reduces the footprint of the subway in the vicinity of 72nd Street, is the alteration of the 72nd Street Station from a three-track, two-platform design to a two-track, single island platform design, paired with a simplification of the connection to the Broadway Line spur.[46][47] Supplemental environmental impact studies covering the changes for the proposed 72nd Street station was completed in June 2009.[48][49][50]

Construction[edit]

In March 2007, the Second Avenue Subway was revived, and the MTA awarded a $337 million contract—one that included constructing the tunnels between 92nd and 63rd Streets, building a launch box for the tunnel boring machine (TBM) at 92nd to 95th Streets, and erecting access shafts at 69th and 72nd Streets—to Schiavone Construction, Skanska USA Civil, and J.F. Shea Construction.[51]

On June 5, 2009, an apartment building at 1772 Second Avenue was evacuated by the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) after it was determined that the building was in danger of collapse.[52] The evacuation of the building, as well as a mixed use building at 1768 Second Avenue/301 East 92nd Street on June 29, 2009,[53] had delayed the contractor's plan to use controlled blasting to remove bedrock in the southern section of the launch box.[54] Until the blasting permits could be issued, MTA required contractors to use mechanical equipment to remove the bedrock, which is slower than blasting out the rock.[55] As of October 2009, one building had been shored up, and work was in progress on the second; MTA had rescheduled blasting to begin during the week of November 2.[56]

In May 2010, a tunnel boring machine beginning at 92nd Street started to dig down Second Avenue through the 72nd Street area, to 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue.[57][58]

On October 1, 2010, MTA awarded a $431 million contract to SSK Constructors (a joint venture) for the mining of the tunnels connecting the 72nd Street station to the existing 63rd Street station, and for the excavation and heavy civil structures of the 72nd Street Station.[59] Construction was to be done through two shafts at 69th and 72nd Streets, the locations of the future entrances; shaft sinking work was started in late 2010. Projected completion of the contract was estimated at November 2013.[11] The rock around the area is mostly Manhattan schist, and was generally considered to be a stable location for blasting,[11] so blasting for the station commenced on January 18, 2011.[60]

On August 8, 2012, a controlled blast at 72nd Street caused rocks to fly over the station site.[61] Nearly two weeks later, on August 21, 2012, an uncontrolled blast for the Second Avenue Subway station at 72nd Street was done incorrectly,[62] causing a large explosion that sent debris into the air and broke windows of buildings in the area and damaged nearby sidewalks.[61][63][64][65]

Cavern drilling was finished in August 2012;[66] however, blasting for the station entrances was not completed until February 28, 2013.[67][68] A muck house to remove mud from the tunnels, which was erected in August 2011,[69] started demolition in April 2013[70] and was fully dismantled by October 2013.[71] By January 2013, almost 96.3% of excavation was completed, with 177,873 cubic yards (135,994 m3) of dirt excavated from the station; waterproofing was also being done in the station and the tunnels south of it.[72][73] The contract for the station's finishing touches, including the electrical, plumbing, track, and signal systems, as well as entrances and exits, was awarded to Judlau Contracting at a price of $258 million in February 2013.[74] As of May 12, 2014, the mezzanine level of the station was completed and being used to store equipment.[75] In September, the station's size was gauged by Gothamist to be so large that "55,000 elephants could fit" within the enormous cavern.[76]

The station's ancillaries at 72nd and 69th Street were planned to be completed in Winter 2014-2015,[27] however they have yet to be finished as of April 2015. The station's mezzanine, plumbing, electricity and machinery were originally scheduled to be finished in the Fall of 2015,[27][77] but the estimated completion date has been pushed back to September 2016.[78][79]

As of April 2015, the station was 56% complete,[80] and as of July 2015, the station was 63% complete.[81] The station is planned to open on December 30, 2016.[1][2][3] However, in July 2016, it was reported that the station's opening could be delayed because the station's elevator had not been delivered and because the communication systems at the station had yet to be finished.[82]

Phase Three[edit]

Once construction on Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway, which runs from 105th Street to 125th Street and Lexington Avenue, is completed, it is expected that construction will then take place on Phase 3. Phase 3 would extend the Second Avenue Subway south from the provisions for the line to continue further south on Second Avenue. The tracks would diverge from the tracks that continue to the BMT 63rd Street Line running south on Second Avenue. The line would continue down Second Avenue to Houston Street, where the third phase would end. However, no funding has been committed to this phase.[83] After Phase 3, a new T service[84] will operate from 125th Street to Houston Street.[85]

An additional two-track connection, tracks ST-1 and ST-2, is planned between the line toward Lower Manhattan (around 63rd Street) and the IND 63rd Street Line toward Queens using existing bellmouths that are at 63rd Street and First Avenue.[22] Current plans do not call for it to be used by regular service, but instead to be used for non-revenue moves, and to provide a connection to the Jamaica subway yard[86][87] The connection would allow for trains to run from the Financial District to Queens is the capacity of the IND Queens Boulevard Line was increased, or if the Queens Bypass was built.[88]

Effects[edit]

Business had declined during the construction and blasting of the station, with many storefronts losing business and some even being forced to close.[69][89][90][91] However, starting in 2013, construction of the station has caused the value of real estate in the area to start to rise.[69][92] Although the surrounding area's real estate prices had been declining since the 1990s, there had been increases in the purchases and leases of residential units around the area, causing real estate prices to rise again.[93] On the Upper East Side, prices of real estate west of Third Avenue had historically been higher than prices east of there, but due to the subway's construction, prices of real estate east of the avenue had risen dramatically since the station's construction started.[94]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

  • Nasri, V., Fulcher, B., Redmond, R., and Parikh, A. 2012, Design and Construction of 72nd Street Large and Shallow Rock Cavern Station in New York City. Proceedings of the North American Tunneling Conference 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, June 20–23, 2012.
  • Nasri, V., Fulcher, B., and Redmond, R. 2012, Design and Construction of 72nd Street Station Rock Cavern in New York. Proceedings of the World Tunnel Congress 2012, Bangkok, Thailand, 18–23 May 2012, International Tunneling Association.
  • Parikh, A., Fosbrook, G., Phillips, D., 2005; Second Avenue Subway—Tunnelling Beneath Manhattan, 2005; Proceedings of the Rapid Excavation and Tunnelling Conference 2005. Littleton: Society of Mining Engineers.
  • Snee, C.P., Ponti, M.A., Shah, A.N., 2004; Investigation of Complex Geologic Conditions for the Second Avenue Subway Tunnel Alignment in New York City, Proceedings of the North American Tunnelling Conference 2004, Levent Ozdemir (ed.). Littleton: Society of Mining Engineers.
  • Snee, C.P., 2008; Engineering Geology and Cavern Design for New York City, Proceedings of the North American Tunnelling Conference 2008, Levent Ozdemir (ed.). Littleton: Society of Mining Engineers.

External links[edit]