Carving an artificial cavern under NYC


New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority is digging an artificial cavern for a future Second Avenue Subway stop below 86th street. Patrick Cashin is photographing the massive operation. Fortunately, the tunnel has been blessed by a Catholic priest. Check out more of Cashin's photos on Flickr and a brief riff on the project by Geoff Manaugh at BLDGBLOG.


  1. Is it just me, or do those look like cg renderings instead of pics?

    (I can tell by the pixels and seeing quite a few…yadda yadda…)

  2. Income Property’s Scott McGillivray:
    “So, which renovation option do you think you will choose — Option 1, with the one bedroom and large living area, or Option 2, with two bedrooms, and the smaller entertainment nook?”

  3. “Think we should have an engineer take a look at this?” “Nah, it’s been blessed by a Catholic priest.”

  4. Die Hard With A Vengeance comes to life!  If this becomes a documentary, just think how creepy it would be to have Jeremy Irons narrate it.

    1.  (Many of?) The scenes in Die Hard 3 were filmed in the actual tunnels. There really is a giant aqueduct being constructed.

  5. Living a couple blocks away from the work site, you can frequently feel the rumble of falling debris after a tnt detonation, a tremor almost as strong as the VA earthquake a year and a half ago, which was a shocker for someone like me who experienced Loma Prieta. For some reason, the detonations seem to conveniently occur in the evenings right after everyone has returned from work.

    Phase 1 of the four part project is due to be complete by 2016. It will encompass the completion of just four stations starting at 96th street and connect to an existing line that runs down Broadway. I’m fairly certain I’ll have shuffled off this mortal coil before the entire line is complete. Here’s more info about the project:

    @stefanjones:disqus , I like CHUD reference. I was an art department PA on that film. I get a lot of street cred out of that with my animation peeps.

    1. That struck me as odd, too.
      But, as it turns out, some definitions of cave or cavern include the designation ‘natural’ or ‘naturally occurring’.
      But, still. ‘digging a cavern’ would have been just fine.  Perhaps ‘man-made cavern’ would be the way to go.

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