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Drill spews dirt into Vanderbilt Avenue injuring two and damaging seven cars

Thomas Tracy reports today in the Brooklyn Paper that a drill driving piles immediately adjacent to Vanderbilt Avenue in block 1121 "sent egg-sized chunks of packed dirt and small stones raining down on unsuspecting pedestrians and commuters at the corner of Vanderbilt and Atlantic Avenues on June 21- leaving two injuries and more than seven damaged cars."

The drill in question is of the same type and doing the same type of work reported to be spewing dust several months ago on this website.  These types of drills at the site have been the source of community complaints for some time, particularly for the dust and noise they cause.  A video in our report from April 6th shows a malfunctioning Casagrande drill spewing dust one block west from the most recent incident.  

The AY Construction Alert from June 20th to July 31st describes the work as taking place to install a line of 17 drilled piles located in what used to be the BP gas station at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues.  The work taking place is over a tunnel leading into the LIRR railyard at the easternmost part of the project.  The work is anticipated to take place for two months.

For approximately three weeks a travel lane and sidewalk on Vanderbilt have been closed, and a bicycle lane moved, to accommodate the affects of the drill that caused the accident.  Workers have been observed sweeping the lane and sidewalk over the last week.  The photo to the left was taken June 8th.  The two cones to the right in the photo delineate the temporary path of the bicycle lane.

The effort to shift cars, bicycles and pedestrians out of harm's way by moving the lanes on Vanderbilt may be part of what is referred to as the MPT or Maintenance and Protection of Traffic Plan for the project which is particularly important during the construction period.  Although lane closures for construction work are generally detailed to the public in the AY Construction Alerts or related supplements, this writer can find no details of these particular changes outlined in the documents.  

The ESDC's environmental monitor HDR has a role in overseeing traffic changes, as does NYC DOT.  Questions about this incident will be forwarded to the ESDC's Project Director Arana Hankin.

Photos taken June 5th on Vanderbilt in the area of the drill that caused the accident yesterday show that dust, mud and debris had flowed through the fence onto the sidewalk and Vanderbilt Avenue previously.  The photos were taken on a Sunday when no work was taking place in that location, therefore the changes to Vanderbilt lanes to accommodate the work were also not in place.  The photos can be found below:



Signs mud had flowed through the construction fence onto the Vanderbilt sidewalk from the drill, Sunday June 5th.



More signs of sprayed mud onto the construction fence and Vanderbilt sidewalk from the drill, Sunday June 5th.



Dirt pattern extends into the Vanderbilt bicycle lane, Sunday June 5th.



Cones and dirt on Vanderbilt Avenue, Sunday June 5th.

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