The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

skillful blows

with 3 comments

Random events witnessed and recorded.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

While heading for Brooklyn one morning, I noticed these guys screwing up Queens at the Sunnyside Yards. They were part of the army of construction crews working on the East Side Access project, I’d wager.

If you’ll notice, they are literally operating a giant screw housed on that yellow piece of equipment.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Not too sure what they were doing, but one suspects it has to do with the complex hydrology which underlies the yard. When the place was established at the start of the 20th century, all sorts of issues were encountered in the name of conquering the land.

This was once an enormous swamp, found at the foot of a rocky outcrop known in the 19th century as “Long Island City Heights” which was rebranded in the 20th century as “Sunnyside.”

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Speaking of Sunnyside, I’ve been keenly watching the construction of the new school on 43rd street. This is a BIG project, and the steel for the new building is rocketing up towards the sky. Good to see that the municipality is actually reinvesting in the infrastructure of the neighborhood as the rapacious eye of the Real Estate Industrial Complex bears down on western Queens.

We get a few more hospitals, schools, fire houses, and police stations and there just might be a possibility of us surviving the 21st century in as fine a fettle as we did the 20th.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

October 25, 2013 at 7:30 am

3 Responses

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  1. They are putting in drilled piles, old school called them caissons. Could also be a secant pile, used to help support earth in an open excavation or for an abutment which might support a bridge or other structure. These are preferred in urban environs as a typical battered pile creates noise and vibrations that are less then desirable.

    John

    October 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm

  2. See the yellow tubes? They’re concrete form tubes. They drill the hole, stick the tube in, fill it with concrete.

    steve wilson

    October 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm

  3. Thanks for the photo (from 39th st?) and the comments. It’s either for ESA or the related (but for Amtrak) Harold Interlocking bypass. East of 39th st they are working on the Track A approach zone, building what appears to me to be a trench. The ESA Track A tunnel TBM reception pit/tunnel mouth should be someplace behind (west) of the tree & access road in Mitch’s photo. Gotta give credit to that tree.
    I’m guessing this drilling will be a continuation of the Track A approach to the Track A tunnel mouth, so maybe for a secant pile wall.

    This is a link to a couple of week old MTA CC photo of the Track A approach “trench” east of 39th st:

    CH053 – Installation of Doka Forms at Track A Approach Zone G6 (10-15-2013)

    Dibis Blastofs

    October 28, 2013 at 7:11 pm


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