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'89 Liberty MCI

Nostrand and Utica Avenue Subway Extension Questions

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Aside from the financial and political reasons as to why an extension of the Nostrand Avenue subway is unlikely, what physical features of the Nostrand Avenue area from Flatbush Avenue to Voorhies Avenue would hamper subway construction? Water table issues, Bay Ridge LIRR ROW?

 

Specifically, where exactly are the water table issues? And how far above or below the level of the Nostrand Avenue subway trackage is the Bay Ridge LIRR trackage? Would it be necessary, appropriate, and/or possible to construct a flat junction if the Nostrand Avenue subway were extended? Was a flat junction part of the original plan, or did the IRT engineers and planners want to elevate the Nostrand Avenue subway above the LIRR ROW (but not above the ground) or drop it below the LIRR ROW? Which of the three options (elevation, flat junction, or drop) would make the most sense today?

 

And is Voorhies Avenue as far south as the bumping blocks could be placed? Where exactly is the furthest south the bumping blocks could be placed? Where is the furthest south a subway entrance could be placed? I would want there to be an entrance at Shore Parkway Access Road South if possible. I think there would be room for a staircase if that northbound turnoff lane on Nostrand Avenue were closed off to vehicular traffic, though I do not know about the clearance issues underground (sewage system etc). I am referring to the lane for vehicles making a right from Nostrand onto Shore Parkway South. Again I know about the politics involved, but let us try to ignore that aspect for a second.

 

Just to confirm, was the Utica Avenue line supposed to be elevated south of Carroll Street? It was once said that this is the reason why Utica is wider south of Carroll than north of Carroll. Would it be possible to keep it underground on Utica and Flatbush (south of S) all the way to Floyd Bennett Field, which was the proposed southern terminus?

Edited by '89 Liberty MCI
More information.

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Original IRT plans from the 1930's called for the southern section of the Nostrand Avenue Line to be elevated. It also called for the Utica Avenue line to be elevated. The Utica Avenue Line would have started at Essex Street, and ran down Worth Street before turning down to Utica Avenue. It would have ran to Sheepshead Bay-Voorhies Avenue along with the Nostrand Avenue Line. Sorry for the mistakes earlier.

 

Brooklyn:

 

South 4th Street-Utica Avenue Line: Starting from Essex Street along the Houston St. line in Manhattan, this line would run under Houston St and the East River to Grand Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. It would then run to the proposed South 4th Street junction, then along South 4th Street and Union Ave to Beaver Street. From there, the line continues to Stuyvesant Avenue, then finally to Utica Avenue at approximately Fulton Street. The line would run under Utica Avenue to Ave I as subway, then become elevated at Ave J and continue to Avenue N. It would then curve southwesterly to Avenue S and make its way to its terminal at Nostrand and Voorhies Avenues in Sheepshead Bay. The line would be 2 tracks to Driggs Ave, 4 tracks to Ave S, and 2 tracks to the Voorhies Avenue terminal. This last section, however, would be built in such a way that 2 additional tracks could be added later. In anticipation of this line being built, a four track "station" was built the width of the Fulton Street line at Utica Avenue, so when construction for the Utica Avenue line would proceed, service on the existing Fulton Street line would not be disturbed.

 

The Worth Street Line described above would also enter the South 4th Street station facilitating transfers with the Utica Ave line. It would run along Worth Street, East Broadway, Grand Street (Manhattan) and under the East River to Broadway in Brooklyn. The portion of the line between South 4th Street and Bushwick Ave would be shared with the Utica Avenue line, and was proposed to be 8 tracks in this section! This line would continue into the Myrtle / Central Ave & Rockaway Line at Beaver Street, whereas the Utica Ave line would turn south. In anticipation of this and the Utica Ave lines being built, portions of this junction with the Brooklyn - Queens crosstown line, as well as the South 4th Street station, were built, but were then forever sealed up.

 

IRT Nostrand Ave. Line: A plan to extend the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line as a 2-track subway to Kings Highway, and then as an El to meet the Utica Avenue Line at Avenue S was also included.

 

Info: http://www.nycsubway.org/articles/historyindependentsubway.html

Edited by Roadcruiser1

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1929 plan, Utica line merging with Nostrand line via S:

 

NostrandUtica1929.jpg

 

1939 plan, Utica line to Floyd Bennett field:

 

NostrandUtica1939.jpg

 

I wonder if the wider sections of Nostrand (Kings to Gerritsen and/or V to Emmons) had been widened specifically to fit extra tracks, since the rest of Nostrand is only wide enough to fit two adjacent tracks.

 

Still wondering whether it is physically possible to have subways down there instead. Why did they want the Utica line to be elevated after J if the terrain along Nostrand and Utica is basically level from Empire Blvd to the edge of Brooklyn?

 

If they were going to elevate it at J, they might as well have elevated it at Carroll where you have the steepest hill in Brooklyn. Where would the Nostrand line have been elevated and why, if again, Nostrand is level from Empire Blvd to its southern end at Emmons Avenue?

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I am glad I found this.

 

geologynyc.jpg

 

This map is showing that South Brooklyn's soil quality isn't strong enough to support a tunnel. The soil around here is just plain sediments. It is however strong enough for an open cut subway line or an elevated line.

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What vanshnookenraggen said.

 

The [current] Nostrand Avenue subway definitely operates south of the border between the terminal moraine and outwash plain sediment zones. That border looks pretty far north of the Junction to me. Also I thought that if you wanted to support a tunnel, you just had to make sure that the support beams in the tunnel were engineered so that they could support the road above. Especially for cut-and-cover, since you have to remove the soil to get in there and build the tunnel anyway. It seems no different from building support beams (fixed to the ground spaces between the tracks) of an open-cut so that you can build a road above, supported by the beams, for motor vehicles.

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I heard it was water table, not soil issues. The closer to the sea you get, the closer the water is to the surface. If you notice, all the tunnels in that southern zone (and there are very few that is actually tunnel) are gradually shallower the further south you get. As you know very well, President and Sterling are deep enough to have mezzanines above (Sterling has one, I forgot whether President has one too), Church on south are very shallow (Beverly has a semi mezzanine), and the junction is the shallowest. All of those stations below Sterling their staircases are location specific as a result.

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If it is a water table issue then the only way they could build it would be elevated. I mean it's technically feasible to build a tunnel but the costs would be prohibitive.

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And is Voorhies Avenue as far south as the bumping blocks could be placed? Where exactly is the furthest south the bumping blocks could be placed

 

 

If the line ever gets extended, (like in a million years) I hope they don't make the same mistake they did by Flatbush Ave & put a bumper block!

 

Flatbush Ave is a dead end, so you don't have extra tracks for storage, which causes the (2)/(5) to be re-routed to Utica/New Lots Aves.

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I threw this sketch together to see, hypothetically, how the Utica Ave subway could be built in phases.

 

Utica Ave Subway - Google Maps

 

I see the entire project being completed in 5 phases. I won't speculate as to how long it would take to construct it.

 

Phase 1 would begin at the IND Fulton Utica Ave station using the existing shell for the Utica Ave subway. A 4 track subway would be built south to Rutland St with stations at Eastern Parkway and Lefferts Blvd. At Rutland St the subway would ascend to run along an elevated viaduct.

 

Now this is where this proposal makes waves. The line is not elevated like the structures we all know around New York, no. This structure will run along Private property fronting Utica Ave. The viaduct will have space for 4 tracks and be 3-4 stories tall. Because it will be built on private property there will be space under the tracks to build retail and commercial space.

 

This is the crux. The subway will pay for itself by taking in rent from this space. If you go down Utica Ave now you have vast stretches of single story auto parts shops, garages, and low rent retail. The brilliance of this plan is that when built the viaduct will have space for these types of businesses still and room for more varied stores. At stations there can even be parking.

 

This viaduct will run south to Flatlands Ave where Phase 1 will stop.

 

Phase 2 will extend southwest running a 2 track traditional elevated line over Flatlands Ave to Flatbush Ave where is makes a 90 degree turn southeast. Right after this turn the line will pick up running as a viaduct as a 2 track line but with space for two more tracks. This viaduct will run to Ave U-Kings Plaza.

 

Phase 3 has two sections: the first will extend the IRT Nostrand Ave subway under Flatbush Ave to Flatlands Ave where a portal will connect it to the Phase 2 viaduct, thus running A Division on one set of tracks and B Division on the other, continuing on to Ave U-Kings Plaza.

 

At the northern end a 4 track subway under Reid Ave will be built from Fulton St north to Bushwick Ave to a massive transfer station in the model of W 4th St at Myrtle Ave. At this point only a 2 track subway will be extended up Bushwick Ave to connect to the BMT Canarsie Line, finally connecting the Utica Ave subway to Manhattan with a one seat ride.

 

Phase 4 will connect the 4 tracks at Myrtle Ave to the Williamsburg Bridge under private property to South 4th St and then under South 4th to the bridge (where only 2 tracks will connect).

 

The final phase will take the final two tracks under South 4th and run them under the East River to E Houston St to connect with the IND 6th Ave line at 2nd Ave.

 

Like the IND was originally built the line will have room for express and local service but not both until later phases are completed. It will start as a shuttle until future connections are made.

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Not to spoil the fun, but;

 

Shouldn't this be in the Long Island Rail Road/Metro-North Railroad category?

 

How? This is a subway line we're talking about, not a LIRR extension.

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I threw this sketch together to see, hypothetically, how the Utica Ave subway could be built in phases.

Utica Ave Subway - Google Maps

 

 

That's a great idea, and it is a way the MTA should do it. In theory, the retail space could be constructed first, so there is some income coming in as construction goes on.

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To extend the Nostrand Avenue Line some of the eateries will have to be torn down, and we can't tear down too many buildings because then you are going to destroy street life and people will protest just like Robert Moses.

 

Here is the area where the Nostrand Avenue Line will have to start becoming an elevated line. This is south of Flatbush Avenue-Brooklyn College.

 

6828199878_29188031cf_b.jpg

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That's the whole point of building a viaduct with commercial and retail space. You restore the urban fabric when the line is built.

 

So, retail on one side of Utica Avenue will be taken out, only to be restored with the (MTA) as landlord... I can see them liking that!

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Why not just make a plain elevated line. Have a two tracked elevated line run down Utica and Nostrand Avenues. They can merge at Voorhies Avenue and form a massive terminal. Nostrand and Utica Avenues aren't wide enough to handle four tracks either.

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Why not just make a plain elevated line. Have a two tracked elevated line run down Utica and Nostrand Avenues. They can merge at Voorhies Avenue and form a massive terminal. Nostrand and Utica Avenues aren't wide enough to handle four tracks either.

 

Because that would run over the street and block out light. People today won't stand for that so an alternative is needed. Building on private property won't block out the sun and with a larger ROW you can design the tracks with stronger noise mitigation. Finally the added real estate income will help offset the costs and actually be an incentive to build the line (which, let's be honest, isn't a high priority). Building a standard elevated rail just has too many downsides. The idea is to find a workable alternative.

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Well before the Target was built at the junction, it used to be a low-use municipal parking lot. Plenty of room for a portal, and it was in the right place two for a quick turn to the left, then by time it crossed over the Bay Ride ROW, it would be high enough to curve back over Nostrand Av (or Flatbush Avenue if you want to run it to Marine Park instead of Sheepshead Bay, I always preferred Marine since it is NOWHERE near a subway service, where at least parts of Sheepshead Bay has the (B)(Q)). For it curving back onto Nostrand, it would have looked sort of similar (in form) to the portal by 3Av-149th, that quick jog to the left, then back off to the right continuing on the road it was on as structure. I liked Flatbush because of the greater need in the neighborhood it was heading in, and it curved in the direction of Flatbush anyway to the portal area

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I would prefer the (2) be extended down FB as that road is much wider and the area has no subway service meaning heavy usage on the B41 and at times Q35 lines. Nostrand is just too narrow for an el. I don't think the (2) going down that road will go over very well with people living on the top floor. FB although is the same setup, is a heavily commercial road and the el won't be that much worse especially if it isn't a few feet from the windows of the 2nd floor of the buildings.

As for how to get the (2) from Nostrand to FB, this would be my idea: the current n/b (2) platform would have to be demolished and they could have the trains turn at the same level from Nostrand to FB and the new station would be built on Av H. It would be a 2 side platform station with a cross under to allow people from say, the Target store above, to get to the uptown platform and not have to cross FB on the street.

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If the line ever gets extended, (like in a million years) I hope they don't make the same mistake they did by Flatbush Ave & put a bumper block!

 

Flatbush Ave is a dead end, so you don't have extra tracks for storage, which causes the (2)/(5) to be re-routed to Utica/New Lots Aves.

 

I'm surprised no ones commented on this yet.

 

The Flatbush Avenue terminal was never meant to be a terminal. That's why it wasn't built as such. Just like Jamaica-179 on the (F).

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You build on private property and people will be even more angry. Has anyone here ever learned about what happened to Robert Moses?

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Guest lance25

It's just an idea. Don't read too much into it.

 

@LTA1992: Actually, Jamaica-179 St was built to be a terminal. That's why it has so many lay-up tracks.

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I'm surprised no ones commented on this yet.

 

The Flatbush Avenue terminal was never meant to be a terminal. That's why it wasn't built as such. Just like Jamaica-179 on the (F).

 

I know it wasn't meant to be a terminal, but couldn't they have made it with layup tracks?

 

 

Why not just make a plain elevated line. Have a two tracked elevated line run down Utica and Nostrand Avenues. They can merge at Voorhies Avenue and form a massive terminal. Nostrand and Utica Avenues aren't wide enough to handle four tracks either.

 

I like your idea, but I think the Nostrand Ave line should run down Flatbush Ave after the junction stop, since going from Utica to Nostrand Ave is going backwards.

 

They can both terminate at Kings Plaza, both lines being eleavted, so it can look like the Coney Island station. I'm sorry, but the railfan got to the best of me! B)

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