Drilling starts this week at Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s west side. Crews will install a few hundred caissons to bedrock to support a platform over a huge confluence of rail lines that feed Pennsylvania Station. Once complete, the deck will support skyscrapers while leaving clearance for trains underneath.
Tutor Perini is the primary contractor for the 26-acre deck, the eastern portion of which just began. The deck part of the project is valued at $510 million. The overall development by Related Cos. comes in at $20 billion.
Jim White, the platform’s chief engineer, told The Atlantic that 3-D modeling helped planners decide where to install each of the caissons—90-ton cores encased in concrete—while still allowing day-to-day operation of the busy railyard. Crews will have little margin for error as they move hundreds of tons of equipment to and from individual drill sites with the kind of agility not usually needed on large-scale construction sites.
Related Cos., the developer, says Hudson Yards sets a new record for the United States’ largest private real estate development. The scope is certainly eye-popping. This site has some animations showing how the construction will proceed, which give some context to the scale of this megadevelopment.
I’ve no doubt Tutor Perini is up to the job. It has a big role in another development I’ve written about, the tunnel being dug under Seattle. In a press release, the company says work on the platform “is expected to be completed in 2016.” Here’s wishing them an on-time finish for such a massive, complex project.
If you live in New York, you’ve likely heard a lot of this already. But, if you haven’t, or if you live elsewhere like 98 percent of the U.S. population, check out the links. It’s good to have a healthy dose of engineering amazement.
Stay safe out there, drillers.