New York MTA: No. 7 tunneling on target

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

Thursday, March 19, 2009, marked the official beginning of the tunneling phase of MTA New York City Transit’s Line 7 subway extension project. With a who’s-who of politicians looking on, MTA Capital Construction lowered a key part of the first of two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will excavate two 7,100-foot tunnels. The piece lowered Thursday is known as the cutter head and has 44 rotating discs.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, House Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and city council officers, were on hand; Gov. David Paterson, in a statement, called the event “another step forward in updating New York’s aging infrastructure to meet the needs of a 21st Century metropolis.”

By developing the Number 7 line to 34th Street and 11th Avenue, we are introducing a vital lifeline to one of our city’s least developed areas,” said Paterson. “As we fight to restore confidence and prosperity in the markets, it is crucial that we promote the economic potential of the new far West Side.”

MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu said that as digging proceeds “we are looking at packaging the contracts for the follow-on work which includes station entrances and finishes, as well as support facilities such as ventilation and traction power stations.”

The extension is scheduled to open for revenue service in 2013.

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