Chapter 4: Progress of Construction; Features of New Work
New Subways For New York: The Dual System of Rapid Transit · Public Service Commission
Fourth Avenue Near 22nd Street During Construction. Fourth Avenue (Brooklyn) Subway.
Before the Dual System was planned and pending the completion of the contracts the City had begun the construction of additional subways. In perfecting the dual plan the Public Service Commission and the Board of Estimate and Apportionment insisted upon the inclusion of these additional lines as well as of the existing subway. These additional lines consisted of the Fourth Avenue Subway in Brooklyn, the Centre Street Loop Subway in Manhattan, the Lexington Avenue and Broadway Subways in Manhattan and the Astoria and Corona elevated lines in Queens Borough. If the plans for the Dual System had failed these subways could have been leased to an independent operating company or operated by the City itself, so that the authorities felt safe in proceeding with their construction pending the conclusion of negotiations for the Dual System. As these negotiations finally succeeded, the additional lines became important parts of the Dual System, the completion of which thereby has been expedited by the amount of construction already done.
At the time the Dual System contracts were signed, March 19, 1913, the City had expended, or obligated itself to expend, upon these additional lines $75,637,628.84. Of this amount $40,501,991 applied to lines for operation by the New York Municipal Railway Corporation, and $35,135,637.84 to lines for operation by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company. In the latter amount, however, is included the cost of the principal parts of the Astoria and Corona lines in Queens, over which the Brooklyn company will have trackage rights.
Fourth Avenue Near 58th Street During Construction, Showing By-Passing of Gas Mains and Temporary Roadway.
The Fourth Avenue Subway in Brooklyn and the Centre Street Loop Subway in Manhattan, both of which will be operated by the New York Municipal Railway Corporation, are about completed. Work on the Broadway line in lower Manhattan, also to be operated by the New York Municipal Corporation, is in progress. Construction of the Lexington Avenue line north of 42nd Street, to be operated by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company, is well advanced, work on all sections north of 53rd Street being well underway and in the case of a few sections already half done.
The following list shows the number of sections of this new work under way at the time the Dual System contracts were signed:
Contracts for Dual System of Rapid Transit.
|Section||Name of Contractor||Awarded by Commission||Approved by Bd. of Est.||Amount of Contract|
|1||F. L. Cranford, 177 Montague St., Brooklyn. N. Y.||Sept. 16, 1912||Sept. 19, 1912||$1,222,200.20|
|1A||F. L. Cranford, 177 Montague St., Brooklyn. N. Y.||Sept, 16, 1912||Sept, 19, 1912||$982,740.70|
|2||Degnon Con. Co., 60 Wall St., New York City.||Jan. 24, 1912||Feb. 1, 1912||$2,355,828.50|
|2A||O'Rourke Eng. Const. Co., 345 5th Ave., New York City||Mar. 30, 1912||July 15, 1912||$912,351.60 (Upper level: $792,779.50; Lower level: $110,572.10)|
|8||Underpinning and Foundation Co., 290 Broadway, New York City.||Jan. 12, 1912||Jan. 18, 1912||$2,295,086.50|
|Six sections, extending from Manhattan Bridge through Flatbush Avenue Extension, Fulton Street, Ashland Place and Fourth Avenue to 43rd Street. Contracts let in May, 1908, approved by Board of Estimate and Apportionment in October, 1909, and work begun in November, 1909||$10,014,388.20|
|1||Degnon Con. Co., 60 Wall St., New York City||Sept, 16, 1912||Sept. 19, 1912||$1,930.258.50|
|2||Degnon Con. Co., 60 Wall St., New York City||Sept, 16, 1912||Sept. 19. 1912||$1,904,171.25|
|Total-Fourth Avenue Line and Extension||$19,848,818,01|
|Extending from Manhattan terminus of the Brooklyn Bridge under Centre Street and Delancey Street Extension to Williamsburg Bridge, with spur at Canal Street to the Manhattan Bridge||$12,884,896.49|
|Total amount of contracts let on lines for operation by Brooklyn company (to date)||$40,501,991.00|
|6||Bradley Con. Co., 1 Madison Ave., New York City (work suspended Apr. 20, 1912)||July 5, 1911||July 21, 1911||$3,634,213.50|
|8||Bradley Con. Co., 1 Madison Ave., New York City||July 5, 1911||July 21, 1911||$3,369,484,20|
|9||P. McGovern & Co., 1 Madison Ave., New York City||Dec. 8, 1911||Feb. 1, 1912||$1,961,997.00|
|10||Bradley Con. Co., 1 Madison Ave., New York City||July 5, 1911||July 21, 1911||$3,253,072.80|
|11||Bradley Con. Co., 1 Madison Ave., New York City||Jul. 5, 1911||July 21, 1911||$3,182,195.05|
|12||Oscar Daniels Co., 88 Park Row, New York City||Aug. 1, 1911||Aug. 3, 1911||$2,825,740.74|
|13||Bradley Con. Co., 1 Madison Ave., New York City (Assigned to McMullen, Suare & Triest. Inc.)||Oct. 31, 1911||Nov. 10, 1911||$4,071,416.50|
|14||Arthur McMullen and Olaf Hoffs, 149 Broadway, New York City (Type K, Steel tubes)||May 14, 1912||Jul. 15, 1912||$3,889,775.05|
|15||Hagerty-Drummond Co., 411 Park Row, New York City (Assigned to Rodgers & Hagerty)||Oct, 10, 1911||Oct, 20, 1911||$3,820,129.75|
|1||John F. Stevens, Construction Co., 55 Wall St., New York City||Sep. 10, 1912||Oct. 17, 1912||$2,258,281.75|
|Total for Interborough lines in Manhattan and the Bronx (to date)||$32,211,306.84|
|2||Cooper & Evans, 220 Broadway, New York City||Feb. 4. 1913||Mar. 6, 1913||$860,743.50|
|3||E.E. Smith Con. Co., 71 Broadway, New York City||Feb. 7. 1913||Mar. 6, 1913||$2,063,588.00|
|Total amount of contracts let on Interborough Rapid Transit lines||$35,135,637.84|
|Amount of contracts on lines for operation by New York Municipal Railway Corporation||$40,501,991.00|
|Amount of contracts on lines for operation by Interborough Rapid Transit Company, includes Woodside, Astoria and Corona Route, over which the Brooklyn company will have trackage rights||$35,135,037.50|
|Total amount of contracts on Dual System up to June 1, 1913||$75,037,028.84|
Up to the first of January, 1913, the City of New York had expended $55,625,231.87 for the construction and improvement of the existing subway. Therefore, at the present time it has invested in rapid transit railroads a total of $131,262,860.71, and before the Dual System is completed will have expended about $226,000,000.
Growth and Development of the Dual System.
Steam Shovel At Work in Fourth Avenue, Near 50th Street. Fourth Avenue (Brooklyn) Subway.
While the Public Service Commission has developed the Dual System, there are certain parts of it which date from the days of the Rapid Transit Railroad Commission. The powers and duties of that Commission devolved upon the Public Service Commission for the First District under the Public Service Commissions Law, and on July 1, 1907, the Public Service Commission organized and took over the work of the Rapid Transit Commission.
Prior to that date the Rapid Transit Commission had adopted routes for many rapid transit lines in various parts of the City. Most of these routes were legalized by the old Commission, that is, the consents of property owners to their construction, or where that had failed a determination in lieu thereof from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, had been obtained. The Public Service Commission kept alive all these consents by repeated applications to the courts, so that when the planning of the Dual System was undertaken many of these old routes were utilized and thus a vast amount of time was saved.
As to two of these routes, the Rapid Transit Commission had gone even further, namely, the Fourth Avenue Subway route in Brooklyn and the Centre Street Loop Subway route in Manhattan. In the case of the Fourth Avenue route, the old Commission had progressed the plans to a point where calling a public hearing was necessary, and in the case of the Centre Street Loop had completed the plans and specifications and awarded the contracts. The Public Service Commission took up both of these subways at the point where the Rapid Transit Commission left off and pushed them to completion. Both later were included in the Dual System plan.
Broadway-Lexington Avenue Subway.
Excavation Under Trinity Place Near Thames Street. Broadway Subway Construction.
During the first six months of its existence the Public Service Commission devoted much time to planning a new subway system, and on December 31, 1907, adopted the route for the Broadway-Lexington Avenue line. This line, which is described elsewhere, is one of the principal routes of the Dual System, but it has been divided between the two operating companies, so that the Interborough Rapid Transit Company takes that part of it north of 42nd Street and the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company gets that part beginning at Whitehall Street and running up Trinity Place, Church and Vesey Streets and Broadway as far as 9th Street, where connection will be made with the Broadway-Fifty-ninth Street route. From 9th Street north to a point near 42nd Street, where a junction will be made between the existing subway and the northern part of the Lexington Avenue line, the road as originally planned up Irving Place and Lexington Avenue will not be built-at least not for some years.
Surface of Trinity Place Showing Elevated Railroad Which Must Be Supported During Subway Construction.
Before the final partition of the line between the two operating companies was made, the Commission let a contract for the construction of that portion known as Section 6, which lies in Lexington Avenue between 26th Street and 40th Street. This was awarded to the Bradley Contracting Company for $3,634,213.50. The contractor began work but was notified April 26, 1912, to suspend operations on account of the decision just reached to omit the construction of that part of the line. No construction has been done there since that date.
At the time this contract was let, the Commission was proceeding on the alternative plan provided in the Joint Report of June 5, 1911, awarding all the proposed lines in the Dual System to the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company for operation by reason of the failure of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company to accept the terms outlined in that report. Several other sections of the Lexington Avenue work were awarded about the same time and many others have been awarded since.
Surface of Broadway North of Chambers Street, Showing Temporary Roadway and By-Passing of Gas Mains.
The contracts for four of these sections were awarded to the Bradley Contracting Company July 5, 1911, just one month after the joint report had been submitted to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment. The contracts were approved by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment July 21, 1911, and on July 31, following, ground was broken for the first work at Lexington Avenue and 62nd Street. Appropriate ceremonies participated in by the Public Service Commissioners and members of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment marked the event. The letting of other contracts followed as shown in the table given above.
View Beneath the Surface, Broadway North of Chambers Street. Subway Construction in Broadway.
Work on Lexington Avenue Line.
Construction of the new subway under Lexington Avenue, which was begun at 62nd Street, was in progress at the time of the signing of the contracts from 53rd Street, Manhattan, north to 135th Street and River Avenue in The Bronx. In this stretch two different methods of subway building are being used. As far north as 103rd Street the subway will be double-decked. On account of the narrow roadway in Lexington Avenue this construction was selected as being more economical where the avenue is at a high elevation, and the lower deck, therefore, would not be below water level. Besides this, the width of the double-deck structure would interfere less with the buildings and their appurtenances during construction and cause much less inconvenience to residents along the line of the work. North of 103d Street, however, where the avenue is at a much lower elevation, the lower part of a double-deck subway would be far below water and in soft ground, so it was considered advisable to have all tracks on the same level from 103rd to 112th Street. There the subway again becomes a double-decked structure, with the local tracks above and the express tracks below. This double-decked structure extends to about 129th Street, where the four tracks again strike one level. This construction is needed for the separation of traffic at the approach to the Harlem River, immediately north of which the subway divides into two branches, one running northwesterly to Jerome Avenue and Woodlawn Road and the other easterly through 138th Street and northeasterly through Southern Boulevard and Westchester Avenue to Pelham Bay Park.
Each of these branches will have three tracks. The Jerome Avenue branch will be an elevated railroad north of 157th Street. On the Pelham Bay Park branch the underground road will extend to a point in Whitlock Avenue between Aldus and Bancroft Streets, whence it will continue as an elevated railroad to its terminus at Pelham Bay Park.
On most of the double-decked section the work really involves the building of two subways at once. The cut for the upper level is worked from the surface of the street under a wooden decking provided for a temporary pavement, while the tunnel for the lower level is being driven underneath it as a wholly separate piece of work. For part of the way, however, both pairs of tracks are in the same deep cut, the operations being carried on under the wooden decking, while in other stretches they are in one great tunnel, the cross-section of which is probably larger than that of any other railroad tunnel in this country. This portion of the City is underlaid with rock, which in most places lies close to the surface. The character, however, varies with location. In some places it is solid rock, so hard that the express tunnel can be driven through it by blasting without resort to timbering or other artificial support. In other places the rock is faulty and timbering is required, as well as the greatest of care in prosecuting the work. North of the Harlem River, while the rock is present, much of that encountered in the excavation in Mott Avenue is of such a disintegrated character that it was removed with picks and shovels without resort to blasting. In the deep rock cut in Franz Sigel Park, as well as in some of the rock cuts in Lexington Avenue, steam shovels were used to advantage in excavating.
In the fall of 1912 the contractors encountered an underground stream of water in the vicinity of Lexington Avenue and Fifty-seventh Street. The engineers believe that this water comes from an old pond which existed in early days at Fifty-ninth Street and Fifth Avenue, the outlet from which flowed southeasterly crossing Lexington Avenue near Fifty-seventh Street. Since that time the street level has been raised by filling in so that no trace of pond or stream now exists on the surface. The water did no damage, as it was flowing into a sewer.
Construction of Broadway Line.
Surface of Broadway Between Prince and Houston Streets During Construction, Showing Temporary Roadway and Contractor's Hoisting Platform.
The first contracts for the construction of the Broadway-Seventh Avenue Subway in Manhattan, which is to be operated by the Brooklyn company, were awarded in January, 1912, and at the time the Dual System contracts were signed, March 19, 1913, work on this line was in progress from Morris Street, in lower Manhattan, up Trinity Place, Church Street and Broadway to a point between Houston and Bleecker Streets. The line continues up Broadway to 42nd Street, where it runs into Seventh Avenue and up Seventh Avenue to 59th Street, through which it runs eastward to the Queensboro Bridge over the East River. For nearly its entire course in Broadway, namely, from Park P1ace to Seventh Avenue, it will be a four-track railroad; south of Park Place it will be a two-track road, and in Seventh Avenue and 59th Street also a two-track road. From a point west of Fifth Avenue the two tracks in 59th Street will separate, one continuing through 59th Street to the Queensboro Bridge and the other going through 60th Street to the same point. [However, the connection to the Queensboro Bridge from the 59th Street Subway was never completed, the City opting instead for a new tunnel along 60th Street to Queens roughly parallel to the Queensboro Bridge. -Ed.]
The character of the work in Broadway south of Houston Street is very different from that in Lexington Avenue north of 53rd Street. Instead of solid rock the subsurface in Broadway is almost entirely sand, the excavation of which is comparatively easy. While no blasting is necessary and the excavated material can be dislodged with pick and shovel, it has been necessary to underpin buildings along the route and to use an elaborate system of timbering to shore up the sides of the cut and sustain the temporary pavement in the street.
Partially Completed Subway Under Broadway Between Prince and Houston Streets Directly Beneath Above Scene. Broadway Subway Construction.
In prosecuting the work in Broadway near Chambers Street the contractors in the spring of 1913 encountered several human skeletons lying in the same vicinity from four to six feet below the surface in the middle of Broadway. Historical research showed that in Revolutionary days a cemetery was maintained at this point, and it was presumed that the skeletons found were the remains of persons buried in this cemetery which were neglected or forgotten when the place was abandoned.
An interesting point on this line is the curve from Broadway under a part of the old Astor House, across Vesey Street and under a corner of St. Paul's Churchyard into Church Street, whence it continues south through Trinity Place. This curve was made necessary by the fact that the existing subway occupies the lower part of Broadway, and it was deemed advisable to swing the new Broadway line around into Church Street and Trinity Place to get downtown rather than to place it underneath the existing structure in Broadway. The construction of this line will make necessary the demolition of the Astor House, the oldest of New York's first class hotels yet standing. The Astor House dates from 1836, and thus has had the longest career of any New York hotel. The part under which the new subway will run is owned by the estate of John Jacob Astor, which gave notice to the lessees to move out by May 29, 1913, in anticipation of the subway work. The City has arranged with the estate to purchase easement rights under the property for the subway for $600,000, and to build retaining walls on the Broadway and Vesey Street frontage.
During the spring of 1913 the contractors for this section uncovered an old well underneath the west retaining wall of Trinity Churchyard, past which the new subway runs down Trinity Place. The old well was about four feet in diameter, walled in with stone, and had been carefully covered over although it was filled with earth. Antiquarians, whose attention was directed to the discovery, expressed the belief that it was one of the public wells sunk by the old City of New Amsterdam under Dutch government. The contractor also unearthed in the same vicinity a human skull.
Old Beach Tunnel.
During the work on Section No. 2 of the Broadway-Lexington Avenue Subway, now under construction, the contractors uncovered in Broadway, between Park Place and Murray Street, the remains of the old Beach Pneumatic Tunnel. This was the first tunnel built for underground railroad purposes in New York City, and dated bark to the early 1870s. It was designed for operation by cars propelled by air pressure applied from the outside. It was cylindrical in form, and the cars were of a shape to fit in the tube, which was made of brick. While the road was operated as a curiosity for a short time, it never became a practical railroad, and, after many vicissitudes, the company promoting it abandoned the work. The old tunnel remained undisturbed under Broadway for forty years until the contractors for the new Broadway Subway removed it.
Centre Street Loop Subway.
The Centre Street Loop Subway was designed by the Rapid Transit Commission to connect the Manhattan terminals of the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges across the East River. That Commission prepared the plans and let the contracts for its construction in the early part of the year 1907, prior to the creation of the Public Service Commission, which later modified the plans and has since supervised its construction. At the present time it is entirely completed with the exception of the southern-most section between Park Row and Pearl Street. Work on this section was suspended May 15, 1908, at the request of the then Mayor, George B. McClellan, in order that the work of starting the new Municipal Building, which was then being planned, might go ahead. For more than two years no subway work was done on this section, but in March, 1911, the Municipal Building was so far advanced that it was possible for the subway contractor to resume operations. The work has progressed to the present time (June, 1913), and the section is now nearly completed. The contractor's time has been extended to June 30, 1913, to complete the work.
The Chambers Street station on this subway is located in the basement of the new Municipal Building. Under the Dual System plan the road will be continued as a two-track line down Nassau Street to Broad Street to a connection with the proposed Whitehall Street-Montague Street tunnel to Brooklyn.
Fourth Avenue Subway.
Taking up the plans for the Fourth Avenue Subway in Brooklyn, where the Rapid Transit Commission left off, the Public Service Commission held the required public hearings and made changes in the plans so as to make the cross sections of the subway larger than that of the existing subway and to make the grades easier. These changes were completed in the winter of 1907-8. Advertisements for bids for the construction of this line were published in the early part of 1908, and in May of that year the Commission awarded contracts to the lowest bidders.
These contracts aggregated about $16,000,000. As is well known, there was litigation over the debt limit, and the Commission was not able to execute the contracts until the fall of 1909. In November of that year work was begun, and since has been steadily prosecuted until today the six sections are nearly completed. In Fourth Avenue and in Flatbush Avenue Extension the subway is about ready for the equipment, but, owing to delays in starting the work, due principally to the necessity of obtaining certain real estate, the sections in Fulton Street and Ashland Place are not so far advanced. It is expected, however, that these will be completed before the close of the present summer .
This is a four-track subway from Manhattan Bridge in Flatbush Avenue Extension, Fulton Street, Ashland Place and Fourth Avenue as far as 43rd Street, Brooklyn. On account of provisions made for turn-outs and connections for future extensions, the structure includes six tracks for a portion of the distance in Flatbush Avenue Extension and eight tracks for part of the length in Fulton Street. From 43rd Street, under the Dual System plans, it will be continued as a four-track subway down Fourth Avenue to 65th Street, and beyond that point as a two-track line to 89th Street. Near 65th Street provision will be made for the diversion of two tracks to run through the proposed tunnel to Staten Island.
Work began on the extension south of Forty-third Street in the fall of 1912 and is now well under way. At Thirty-eighth Street a branch of this subway will be constructed connecting the proposed elevated railroads down New Utrecht Avenue and Gravesend Avenue to Coney Island.
The Fourth Avenue Subway line runs through a part of the site of the Battle of Long Island. As the ground has been filled in since the days of the Revolution it was expected that relics of the battle would be found when the street was excavated for the subway. The contractors were instructed to keep a careful watch for such relics, but none was found.
Character and Size of New Underground Railroads.
The new subways will show great improvements over the existing subway in many details. The existing subway was the first underground road ever operated in New York City, and necessarily, in some particulars, was more or less experimental. Actual operation of it disclosed several features which experience proved undesirable, and the engineers of the Public Service Commission have eliminated such features from the plans for the new work. For instance, some of the stations in the existing subway are built upon curves, which causes undesirable conditions when trains are loading and unloading at these curved platforms, and also makes it necessary for all trains approaching such stations to slow down to avoid danger. While these curved platforms are protected by an excellent signal system, the Commission's engineers believe that the safety of operation will be promoted by eliminating curved platforms. Therefore all stations upon the new subways will be located on straight stretches of track, and so far as possible sharp curves will be avoided on all lines.
The plan followed in the existing subway of placing all four tracks in one tunnel has been found defective. This condition prevails, with few exceptions, for the whole stretch of four-track subway from Brooklyn Bridge north to 96th Street. Actual operation showed that this arrangement interfered with the full effect of the train movement upon ventilation. While the frequent passage of trains stirred up the air, it did not entirely renew it, and in consequence the City had to spend a great deal of money to put in ventilating devices. The Commission's engineers believe they have greatly simplified the problem of ventilation by constructing the new subways with separate tunnels, so that the passage of trains will produce a piston action, driving the air out ahead of them and causing the in-rush of fresh air by suction from the rear. There will be a partition wall between each pair of tracks so that the effect of having one tunnel for trains going one way and another tunnel for those going in the opposite direction will be produced. In this partition wall, archways will be provided at stated distances as places of safety to which track laborers may retire to avoid being struck by trains. Where there are only two tracks, they will be separated by a partition wall.
Heat to Be Lessened.
Another feature of the existing subway which causes some discomfort is the high temperature prevailing during the periods of maximum operation. Engineers believe that much of the heat is due to the friction of brake shoes on wheels and wheels on tracks, as well as to the operation of numerous electric motors underneath the cars. In building the first subway the engineers took extra precautions to keep out water and provided waterproofing under the floor, up the sides and over the roof of the tunnel. While this waterproofing keeps the water out, it also keeps the heat in. It is the theory now that if less waterproofing were used, the walls of the subway would allow more of the heat to escape. Accordingly, in the new designs waterproofing is provided only in cases where it is absolutely needed to keep out water, and that is mainly over the roof, under the floor of the subway and along the sides in places where the road runs below water level. This waterproofing consists of layers of woven fabric and asphalt and brick laid in asphalt, and there will be much less of it used in the new work than was placed in the first subway.
All the new subways will be larger than the first one. In the case of the Fourth Avenue Subway in Brooklyn, and the Centre Street Loop in Manhattan, to be operated by the Brooklyn company the difference will be considerable. The first subway has a height of 12 feet 10 inches above the base of the rail and has a width of about 12 feet 6 inches for each track. The Fourth Avenue and Centre Street Subways will have a maximum height of 15 feet above the base of the rail, and a width of 14 feet for each track. The Broadway and other subways to be operated by the Brooklyn company will have a height above base of rail of 13 feet 2 inches and a track width of 13 feet 6 inches.
Plans for the subways to be used for the Interborough Rapid Transit Company were originally drawn according to these dimensions, but when the arrangement was made to connect certain of the new subways with the existing subway, all to be operated by one company, it became evident that it would be useless to have part of the system of large bore and part of smaller diameter. The plans, therefore, were changed so as to make the dimensions of the new subways for the Interborough Rapid Transit Company approximately the same as those of the existing subway. Accordingly they will be built with a height of 13 feet 2 inches above base of rail and a width of about 13 feet 6 inches for each track. That is, a two-track subway will be 28.5 feet, the three-track subway 42 feet and the four-track subway 55 feet wide. [However, it is widely believed that the plans were changed back such that the Interborough portions of the new subway lines were constructed to the same size standards as those for the Brooklyn company. -Ed.]
Station platforms in the new subways will also be larger than those provided for the first subway. When originally built the latter were long enough to accommodate only eight-car express trains and five-car local trains. Subsequently, owing to the great growth of traffic, it was necessary to enlarge these platforms to accommodate ten-car express and six-car local trains. This improvement cost the City $1,500,000. Profiting by this experience, the Commission has decided to have the stations of the new subways built long enough to receive ten-car express and six-car local trains. [And of course the local stations were later extended to accommodate ten-car local trains. The length of a car, used throughout this document, was based on the 50 foot standard of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company. The Brooklyn company chose to introduce 67' cars to equip its portions of the Dual System. This was made possible by the larger size profile of the Brooklyn company subway tunnels described above. -Ed.]
Reinforced concrete will be used extensively in construction. This type of construction has occurred both in the Fourth Avenue Subway in Brooklyn and in the Centre Street Loop Subway in Manhattan and has given great satisfaction. It is so strong that at one point in Brooklyn where the Fourth Avenue subway passes under the existing subway, the latter rests entirely upon the roof of the former.
In the new tunnels under the East River and the Harlem River, footpaths will be provided so that in case a train should be stalled and it would become necessary to unload it in the tunnel, passengers may leave the train and walk in safety out of the tunnel.
No Obstruction to Street Traffic.
The Public Service Commission has also profited by the experience of the original subway builders in regard to the inconvenience caused property owners by the construction of subways in busy streets. Strict provisions for the minimizing of such inconvenience are inserted in all the new construction contracts. There will be no repetition of the long stretches of open cuts, such as marked the building of the present subway in 42nd Street. In all such streets the contractor will be required to cover his excavation with planking and substitute plank roadways for the pavements which he removes. He will also be required to confine the openings in the streets to such shafts as may be necessary to take out the excavated material, and wherever possible in congested districts such shafts will be located in parks, etc., so as to avoid obstructing the thoroughfare. In this way streetcar and vehicle traffic will be kept moving as usual during the construction of the work, and storekeepers will not lose trade by reason of having access to their places of business obstructed. This method of construction will be followed in Broadway, Lexington Avenue, 42nd Street, in fact in all of the streets in the congested districts. It may be seen in actual operation today both in lower Broadway and in Lexington Avenue, where the new subways are being built while the street traffic goes on as usual. Only in the outlying districts, where traffic conditions will permit, will there be any open cut work allowed, and then only after the engineers of the Public Service Commission have satisfied themselves that such open cuts will not work unreasonable hardships to owners of property. Of course, no subsurface work of such magnitude can be carried on without causing some inconvenience, but it will be the aim of the Commission to minimize this inconvenience.
Ornamental Elevated Structures.
The new elevated railroad construction will show marked improvement over the type heretofore used in New York City. The elevated structures will be more sightly, and the road bed so built as to make the operation of trains less noisy. In certain places, like the Queens Boulevard in Queens Borough, where the City authorities are striving for beauty effects in street construction, the elevated structure will be of ornamental design.