NBC 4 New York
Blasting is set to resume Friday, weeks after a construction mishap sent rocks showering down onto busy streets. As News 4's Andrew Siff explains, the MTA's decision has some people fired up.
Transit officials have come up with new safety measures as the result of a controlled blast last month that sent rocks flying into Manhattan streets.
Construction workers were blasting on Aug. 21 to create an escalator for the planned Second Avenue subway line. The debris rained when two 1,800-pound steel plates were lifted.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says a superintendent will now have to sign off on a pre-blast checklist.
A second licensed blaster will verify that proper preparations have been made.
A double layer of protective mats will be used when blasting in shafts.
Blasting will resume Friday in the station cavern. It will resume next week at the ancillary shaft where the incident occurred.
The safety changes haven't convinced Claude Kolb, whose art gallery on 72nd Street and 2nd Avenue has been closed since the botched explosion shook the building and cracked his floor. The MTA and the landlord won't let him back in.
"The bottom line is, I'm out of business," he said. "I don't know when we'll be able to open up again."
Others in the neighborhood say it's time ot get the decades-delayed, $4.5 billion project back on track.
"They have to. They gotta build a subway," said Upper East Side resident Pierre Merle. "Accidents happen, and I think this been a relatively safe project."
The Second Avenue subway, one of the biggest transportation projects in the country, is scheduled to be completed December 2016.