The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it is investing more than a half-million dollars to clean the air around the Second Avenue subway construction site. NY1's Transit reporter Tina Redwine filed this exclusive report on the authority's plans for the improvement.
Clouds of dust will soon not be a problem at 86th Street. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says a state-of-the-art air filtration system will solve the problem they have been at having construction of the Second Avenue subway at 72nd Street.
"Construction is a learning process, and you learn from events, from mistakes," said MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu.
Currently, dust and debris are housed in enclosures called "muck houses" that are not capturing all the dust on 72nd Street the way they had hoped. This has caused an outcry in the community, so the MTA searched for alternatives.
"Now we employ technology rather than a hermitically enclosed muck house in which we are containing the dust and then we are spraying it within the muck house," said Horodniceanu.
Two filtration units will be installed below ground at Second Avenue and 83rd Street and at 86th Street. A turbine will suck in the dust, mix it with water, then pump it through filters, cleaning the air of 95 percent of the visible dust which residents say is hurting them.
MTA officials say vapor will be vented several stories above ground and visible to residents only as a little mist for less than an half-hour each day.
"Congratulations to whoever put the pressure on to make it happen," said a local.
MTA officials insist the new technology is not a public relations move, but an effort to improve conditions for residents. In fact, they are even leading tours on Saturdays for affected area residents.
"You can't imagine the scale of it until you actually see it. It's amazing," said a local.
The MTA says to further improve community relations it's planning on opening a Second Avenue information center in the neighborhood - giving residents a place to drop by and ask questions or make comments as the project moves forward.
The new air filters should be up and running by the end of June.