WSP was the $4.4 billion project’s consultant construction manager, responsible for overseeing the work of contractors on behalf of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Capital Construction Company. The firm’s scope of work included resident engineering and inspection, constructability reviews, contract management and administration, project controls, utility coordination, commissioning and startup, and project closeout. WSP had an average of 120 people on site managing as many as eight construction contracts simultaneously.
“I have been riding the Second Avenue Subway for over a year since its opening,” said Tom Peyton, WSP’s project manager. “I still get a great sense of pride in what WSP has helped to deliver to the people of New York. I get stopped in the street and strangers thank me and tell me what an amazing experience it is to see the stations and ride this quiet, efficient subway.”
Construction on the Second Avenue Subway initially started in 1972, but the project was soon abandoned because of a city fiscal crisis and was dormant until the 1990s, when the MTA announced plans to build an 8.5-mile subway along Second Avenue from Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan to 125th Street in Harlem.
Much of the two-track line was built using tunnel boring technology with cut-and-cover used at the 96th Street station locations. Mining was used on two station caverns at 86th and 72nd streets and portions that were too short to make tunnel boring cost-effective. The geology of the Upper East Side of Manhattan posed challenges for the team because of its hills and valleys, its mixture of unpredictable and variable sands and silts, and fault lines.
Renovations of the existing 63rd Street/Lexington Avenue station allowed the new subway to tie into the existing transit system. During construction, at least four lanes along Second Avenue remained open to traffic and efforts were made to maintain access to businesses and residences. Structural and ground improvement techniques were used to minimize ground settlement and to preserve the structural integrity of various facilities, including utility lines, buildings, tunnels, and ramps.
Currently the line is being extended north to 125th Street. Eventually it will be extended south to Lower Manhattan.
“We are proud to have supported MTA Capital Construction on this transformative project, a line extension that improves the mobility and values of properties on the east side of Manhattan,” said Bernie McNeilly, WSP chief operating officer, U.S. transportation & infrastructure. “Our team worked hard to help deliver this effort for use by MTA's customers.”