Look | Tunneling Machines Grind to a Halt

The fleet of giant tunneling machines that spent the last four years digging 13 miles of new train tubes deep beneath New York City fell silent this week after finishing its mission.

On Monday, the 200-ton machine ground to a stop beneath a Long Island Rail Road line in Queens, having carved out one of four big new tunnels that will allow the railroad's trains to connect to Grand Central Terminal.

The milestone marks the end of tunneling for all MTA megaprojects: Second Ave Subway, 7 Extension and East Side Access.

"Sixteen brand new, concrete-lined tunnels now exist under New York City where none did five years ago," said MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota. “The conclusion of tunnel boring reminds us that New Yorkers remain capable of great achievements."

Although the tunneling has been completed, many components of the megaprojects still remain to be finished.

With the Associated Press.

The tunnel boring machine shown here completed mining the third East Side Access tunnel to be built in Queens.
The tunnel boring machine shown here completed mining the third East Side Access tunnel to be built in Queens. ( Metropolitan Transportation Authority )
( Metropolitan Transportation Authority )
Construction of the the Second Avenue Subway as of Saturday, May 12, 2012
Construction of the the Second Avenue Subway as of Saturday, May 12, 2012 ( Metropolitan Transportation Authority: Patrick Cashin )
Work in the Second Avenue line.
Work in the Second Avenue line. ( Stephen Nessen )
Ground level view of the Second Ave. tunnel.
Ground level view of the Second Ave. tunnel. ( Stephen Nessen )
The "BC" tunnel boring machine in front of its launch block as of April 5.
The "BC" tunnel boring machine in front of its launch block as of April 5. ( MTA Capital Construction )
Long view of a tunnel.
Long view of a tunnel. ( Stephen Nessen )
The progress of the work on the 7 Extension as of January 26, 2012.
The progress of the work on the 7 Extension as of January 26, 2012. ( Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin )
The MTA's East Side Access project is connecting the Long Island Rail Road to a newly built concourse underneath the existing lower level of Grand Central Terminal.
The MTA's East Side Access project is connecting the Long Island Rail Road to a newly built concourse underneath the existing lower level of Grand Central Terminal. ( Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin )
East Side Access as January 25, 2012.
East Side Access as January 25, 2012. ( Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin )
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