Earlier today, something went wrong with construction of New York City’s Second Avenue Subway when a planned underground blast broke through the surface sending dirt and debris into the air and causing other property damage. Here’s coverage by the New York Times and the New York Daily News — the Daily News actually has photos of the blast.
This is certainly unfortunate and we will be watching as our colleagues in New York work to figure out what caused this accident. It’s worth noting that no blasting at all is planned here in Los Angeles as part of the construction of either the Regional Connector or the Westside Subway Extension, both of which require tunnels to be built.
In its cover story on this project earlier this month, the New York Times Magazine noted that geology is a critical factor in determining how tunnels and stations get built. The geology is quite different in Los Angeles than it is in New York.
We understand that there have been hundreds and hundreds of planned blasts for the Second Avenue Subway over the last year that have gone off without a hitch. This is the first time anything like this has happened. On the positive side, it appears that there weren’t any injuries from this accident and that the scene was cleaned up with streets reopened within an hour. We’ll keep monitoring this and pass along any relevant information.
Yes, unlike New York we have methane gas. The blasts won’t be as “controlled”.
Yes, there is methane gas under many parts of our region. Here’s some more information from a FAQ on the Westside Subway Extension’s web page:
[…] Westside Subway Construction Will Not Involve Explosive Blasts (The Source) […]