NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They’re building big on the Big Apple’s West Side as a new platform is set to cover train tracks, and support a $5 billion development project in the area.
As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported, it’s the hole just west of Ninth Avenue, a block from Penn Station, that provides a glimpse of sunlight for trains coming from or bound for New Jersey.READ MORE: Authorities: New York Woman Kidnapped, Sexually Assaulted In New Jersey
But the sky view is slowly disappearing under a canopy of concrete as a mega platform meant to support a massive development called “Manhattan West” progresses.
“It’s amazing because this is really creating new land where none existed before, and this whole neighborhood is Manhattan’s new frontier,” said Melissa Coley, with Brookfield Office Properties.
The price tag for the platform over the tracks is $330 million, Aiello reported.
The concrete segments that make up the platform are absolutely massive — each one weighs 56 tons. They’re made in Trenton, New Jersey and trucked to the site right over the George Washington Bridge one segment at a time because that’s all the weight that the bridge can handle, Aiello reported.
Each segment has holes where massive cables will thread them together like beads on string. Sixteen segments are assembled to make a single span, compressed together by tension on the cables.
And believe it or not, gallons of super epoxy hold together the seems where the segments meet, Aiello reported.
“When they’ve all been assembled together, the entire span weighs 2,400 tons, which is about 187 MTA buses!” Henry Caso said.READ MORE: New Jersey Man Who Was Arrested On Child Porn Charges Allegedly Tried To Hire Hitman To Murder 14-Year-Old Child In New York
And that’s where a $7 million beast called “The Launcher” comes in, Aiello reported. It lifts each massive span and positions it into place — mostly at night when traffic is sparse.
By the end of the year, 39 spans will cover the tracks so construction can commence on office and residential towers, a hotel, and two acres of public space.
“It’s an amazing regeneration of a neighborhood,” Coley said.
Across Tenth Avenue from Manhattan West, another platform will cover the Hudson Yards for an even larger development. Together the two complexes will have 17 high-rise buildings with 22 million-square-feet of space.
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