The Cavernous Underground of Manhattan’s Second Avenue Subway Construction

second-avenue-subway-construction-new-york-city (Image: MTA Photos, cc-3.0)

Urban Ghosts has featured various abandoned underground stations including forgotten London tube platforms and the ghost stations of the Paris Metro, many of them dug out by hand during the Victorian era and early 20th century. But as Tech Graffiti reports, these vast caverns connected by eight miles of tunnel beneath Manhattan will soon be transformed into New York City’s newest subway line – blasted and bored using the latest in modern technology.

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Just 90 feet below Manhattan’s towering skyscrapers, the Second Avenue Subway will run from 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Harlem to Hanover Square. After originally being proposed in 1929 and delayed for various financial reasons over the decades, construction finally got underway in 2007 and is poised for completion by December 2016.

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The Second Avenue Subway, which runs through a combination of soft silt and solid rock, will reduce congestion on the overcrowded IRT Lexington Avenue Line which serves an incredible 1.3 million passengers daily. These images show workers and machinery inside an immense subterranean cavern that will ultimately become the 86th Street station. It’s one of only two stations on the line, along with 72nd Street, to be mined rather than bored.

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In an interview with the New York Times, photographer Richard Barnes called the underground space “a completely different, bizarre world.” Check out Tech Graffiti for more information and images.

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