MTA: 2nd Avenue Subway Construction Not A Danger To Your Health

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The new Second Avenue subway line is aimed at reducing overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue line but residents who live near the construction site are concerned about dust and possible health problems.

The “skunk-like”smell coming from the site has many residents fuming and some say they have developed coughs since the start of construction because of the dust.

After a rise in complaints, the city commissioned an air-quality study late last year but the results, which were just posted to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s website, show the daily blasting is not hazardous.

EXTRA: Air-Quality Monitoring Study

“Based on the results of the study, there are no concerns that Second Avenue Subway construction is causing any danger to the public’s health,” MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu said. “We will continue to do everything we can to be a good neighbor as we complete this critically important project as quickly as possible.”

Instead, the findings blame the spike in some pollutants on traffic and buildings’ dirty boilers.

The findings acknowledge the “sulfry” and “smoky” odors are impacting nearby residents.

Inspectors found those living closest to the so-called “muck buildings” — which house all the excavation materials — are most affected by the dust.

But still, they say these fumes are not creating a health hazard.

Even so, last month, well after the monitoring period ended — the MTA made some changes to the site — which included adding a wet burlap sack to trap some of the dust.

The MTA board is planning to present the findings, which were reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency, to the local community board next week.

Does the construction have you concerned for your health? Let us know below…

  • Shiv

    Want to know how the MTA and PB could have used current air monitoring technology to better assess emissions from the 2nd Ave Subway construction?

    Read now!

  • Connie Citizen

    First, let me start out by saying the Community needs better transit service, all over the five boroughs, my sympathies for those with cut service in the boroughs other than Manhattan.

    What folks need on the UES is better, more frequent service – happy to have that done on the existing, decaying 6, something the MTA doesn’t want to provide. Everyone wants this, but we do not want a 2nd Ave Subway built that will cause us (i) LT health issues, (ii) when up and running – currently scheduled to open FIVE years late, at least a billion over budget, and only for the first phase (96th to 72nd with only three or so stops, none the bet. 72 and 86 where the bulk of the traffic is; and (iii) ruining the quality of life of the neighborhood for years to come. THIS WHOLE PROJECT IS A SHAM for the MTA to get further into debt, keep the unions employed and have no accountability for their actions with YOUR TAX DOLLARS!



    Parsons Brinckerhoff, the firm that conducted the study is conflicted; they are systematically engaged by state transit authorities (Tennesee/Massachusetts), including NYC. They also have been subject to lawsuits regarding their conduct. Why the MTA/2nd Ave Subway Staff did not let the Community chose the firm to conduct the study so that we are ensured impartiality is beyond comprehension. Note that the report did state that fine dust, sulfur dioxide and ammonia readings were above standard federal limits. The Community is silly not to organize itself against the MTA and the health hazards they are causing everyone – they are taking us for fools, stating that all of them due to increased traffic – which coincidentially were not around before construction.

    FYI: Parsons Brinckerhoff is the General Engineering Consultant on the LI Rail Road/East Side Access Project;

    Many have developed severe coughs and other ailments – I’m not litigious, but maybe it’s time for a class action suit?!

  • None Of Your Business

    Wet burlap sacks are great for eliminating a Dust Bowl problem at a construction site. Proven effective every time. Love that MTA. So concerned about everyone’s health and safety.

    Also, does anyone with a functioning brain cell think the MTA — it is part of the government, after all — would tell the truth and admit that something it’s doing is hazardous to your health? Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!

  • bevbux

    Seems that’s what Christie Whitman said on tv about the WTC site.

  • vIK

    You know what?! Here’s a suggestion: while service is getting cut in the other four boroughs why don’t you poll those citizens in those forgotten and pushed aside areas and ask if we really give a rat’s behind that lazy people who can’t walk two blocks are complaining about a subway that was unncessary from the start?! Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx needs more buses. And Staten Island needs another rail line — NOT MANHATTAN!!!! Our tax dollars at work folks!!!

    • Al

      I would like someone at the MTA to explain why the G train in Brooklyn runs with just 4 cars so it is dangerously over crowed in the morning rush… mean while trains that run into Manhattan have 8 or 10 cars. I thinks it is discrimination plain and simple, cause no way is it lack of ridership.

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