UPPER EAST SIDE — The MTA has 20 trucks making three to four roundtrips a day to move debris blasted from underground to make way for the Second Avenue subway.
The 10-wheelers double and triple-park as they wait to enter the giant boxy muck houses at East 72nd and 69th streets to pick up their hauls of excavated materials, causing traffic headaches along the already busy thoroughfare.
But they're about to move to line a Second Avenue block, between 74th and 75th streets, which will become a staging area between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. each weekday.
The transit agency asked for permission to queue up its trucks in the parking lane on the east side of the block as a way to ease congestion, officials said at a Community Board 8 committee meeting Wednesday.
"It will allow us not to double park and take up traffic,” said Amitabha Mukherjee, the construction manager.
The trucks will continue hauling muck through the end of May, he noted. Then, in the next phase which is expected to last until October 2013, concrete trucks will be making daily trips to the site.
Community board members are worried about the noise and fumes from the trucks — especially the ones carrying concrete.
Mukherjee insisted the proposed arrangement would help cut idling. Unlike the double-parked trucks that are often forced to leave their engines on, these trucks would be required to shut theirs off while in the staging area of the parking lane.
The cement trucks, however, would not be able to shut down their mixers, and the board only approved the MTA’s request for the muck truck trips for the next few months. Members asked the agency to revisit the issue when it was time to switch to the concrete trucks, and the MTA agreed to do so. The Department of Transportation must give the final approval.
"There is no question there is a bottleneck," said Barry Schneider, who chairs Community Board 8’s Second Avenue Subway Task Force.
“Using that curb land will dramatically cut down the traffic."