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No More Second Ave. Night Blasting, MTA Vows

By Amy Zimmer | August 15, 2011 3:27pm
Crews will start work on the eastern side of the tunnel in November of 2011.
Crews will start work on the eastern side of the tunnel in November of 2011.
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DNAinfo/Gabriela Resto-Montero

MANHATTAN — The MTA heard the outcry of Upper East Side residents and storeowners along the Second Avenue subway's construction path above the din of dinnertime blasting for the train's underground tunnel.

Starting Monday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will stop the underground blasting after 7 p.m., transit officials confirmed.

Upper East Siders — who have had to contend with physical roadblocks such as sidewalks and lanes sectioned off for workers ripping up the streets — had complained about enduring loud booms during nighttime blasts for the subway's tunnel.  

“People don’t want to have a romantic dinner with the sound of pavement being obliterated in the background,” the subway project’s construction chief, Michael Horodniceanu, told the New York Times, pledging to keep the post-7 p.m. ban.

Even though the project allowed for the blasting to continue after midnight, Horodniceanu said the detonations usually stopped after 9 p.m. But since June, there were 28 detonations past 7 p.m., 19 of which pounded the streets past 9 p.m., according to the New York Post.  

Area community leaders and politicians put pressure on the transit agency to give the area some more peace and quiet in the evenings.

"The bottom line is it is disturbing,” Horodniceanu told the Times. “And it’s not so much the blasts as the horns we blow before the blast — they are really terrible," he said of the loud warnings for workers and passersby, which are required by the FDNY.

The neighborhood should brace for some blasing on Second Avenue between 86th and 87th streets "on or around" Aug. 22, according to a notification sent out by Community Board 8.

The excavation will take place between 12-feet and 28-feet below the surface, the notice said.

Instead of the evening blasts, Upper East Siders can expect more of them in the morning — likely for years to come.

The subway isn't due to open until December 2016.