100-Hundred-Ton Drill Descends into Manhattan
Workers lower a drill Thursday to dig the No. 7 extension
Work on the No. 7 subway extension was ramped up Thursday as the 100-hundred-ton drill that will slice through Manhattans bedrock was brought to 11th Avenue.
While elected officials lauded the start of the second phase of the $2.1 billion project, critics of the one-station extension say it serves Javits Center conventioneers rather than city residents.
The 7,100-feet tunnels will bring service to the far west side at West 34th and 11th Avenue. The drill will start breaking ground in April.
During a ceremony Thursday, crews lowered the 22-foot circular head of the machine that will bore twin tunnels between West 25th Street and Times Square. Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the digging the most dramatic phase of the project.We are expanding our subway network into an entirely new area of the city, Bloomberg said.
The project originally contained a shell for a station at West 40th Street and 10th Avenue, but it was removed in September because of costs.
It's an abomination, said MTA board member Andrew Albert. The extension is just for conventioneers.
The project is scheduled to be completed by 2013. But transit watchdogs believe it could take far longer because the city has not budgeted for cost overruns.
The MTA will discuss the status and cost of its major capital projects during board meetings Monday.