Monday, November 17, 2008

Why Is Manhattan Park's River Road Blocked To Traffic? Answer - To Repair AVAC Garbage System

Road Construction Blocking Traffic in Front of Manhattan Park's River Road

Several readers have written in asking what is going on with the road construction blocking traffic in front of Manhattan Park's River road. Commenting on this Drive Thru Roosevelt Island At Night post, reader Mike G. first alerted us to this condition:
Well, the directions would USUALLY be good.

Right now, that first left onto River Road would drive you into the AVAC repair hole (if you ignore the barrier blocking RR) :)
RIOC President Steve Shane provides additional information:
Construction is replacement of elbows in AVAC system. All work being done by outside contractors persuant to bids, under RIOC supervision.

Street should be closed up by Thanksgiving.
Here's some more information on Roosevelt Island's unique AVAC Garbage system from NYU's Portfolio:
The A-Vac, on Roosevelt Island, is New York’s only pneumatic garbage collection system. Designed in the late sixties to accompany the island’s Mitchell Lama housing developments, the system works like this:18-inch-wide pipes run under all the high-rises on Roosevelt Island. When people throw their waste down the building’s chutes, it piles up for several hours, until a trap door opens, sucking the garbage into a pipe. While air is blown out one end, valves on the other open to allow the intake of air at selective points. This creates a pressure differential that propels the garbage through the underground pipes at speeds of up to 60 miles an hour....
When the garbage resurfaces, it is at the A-Vac center, a squat three-story building at the island’s north tip. The pipes climb to the building’s ceiling, and dump the trash into two upside down silo shaped cyclones, which spin and then slide it down chutes into container bins. The whole vacuum process takes 10-15 minutes.

Image of Roosevelt Island AVAC from Roosevelt Island 360