• Upcoming trips

    September 7 to 15 Tony and Jo will visit us from the UK

    13-23 January, 2018 Cruise out of New York around the Caribbean on the Norwegian Gem

  • theatre and Concerrts

    July 1  Saw “Napoli, Brooklyn” by Meghan Kennedy at the Laura Pels Theatre. It is based upon a real-life disaster, the surprise staging of which, is mind shattering! However, the story line has a surfeit of themes added; religious brain-washing, the effect of a bullying husband and father and lesbian freedom. None of these is fully convincing in spite of the excellent acting of the cast.

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Tunnellers’ progress – extraordinarry safety measures!

While constructing the wall around entrance number 2 on Second Avenue and 94th Street, it was discovered that the last section of the excavated  slot was not quite vertical owing to some rebar material protruding from the bottom of the massive retaining wall along Second Avenue.  A diver was required to go down and cut the extraneous material away. The slot is four feet wide, about 12 feet long and sixty or more feet deep. It is temporarily filled with a liquid chemical mixture which reacts with the earth sides to solidify them enough to  prevent any earth slides. Never-the-less, it would be too dangerous to send a diver with his cutting equipment directly into the slot.

A long steel tube about 30″ in diameter with openings cut into it was lowered into the slot and the diver worked from inside it–never leaving its protection and with no fear of being crushed by an accidental collapse of the slot. However, there were other hazards. The cutting flame reacted with the chemical liquid to give off a toxic gas. This was taken care of by a system which modified the chemicals immediately around the cutting area and allowed the gas to escape to the surface. Oxygen was pumped down to the diver but, in case the pump failed, a portable tank could be dropped down the tube immediately. And finally, if worse came to worst, equipment was  put in place by the side of the tube so that the diver could  exit the tube from the escape hatch and be pulled to the surface. Safety is taken very seriously, and MTA sent their top safety officer to supervise the operation. Click on the pictures for greater detail.

The Area Chief Safety Officer was kind enough to explain some of his concerns

The steel tube being Prepared

Lowered into the slot

All that remains above ground

All went well!. The diver being decontaminated after his work was finished

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