Second Ave. Subway on track for Dec. 2016, pol says
The long-awaited first phase of the Second Avenue subway is on schedule to be completed by the MTA’s December 2016 target, according to a progress report released Monday by Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s office.
The report card gives the overall project a B+, an improvement from 2011’s B, which reflects the completion of the two-mile subway tunnel, the awarding of all the contracts for the first phase and the end of underground blasting this summer.
“For the past four years, they have kept the deadline,” Maloney told reporters at East 72nd Street and Second Avenue. “Their final grade is a B+, so they’re pretty much on track.”
The first leg of the subway line, costing $4.5 billion, will extend the Q train on the East Side between 96th and 63rd streets.
Despite the progress, there were areas where Maloney felt the MTA needs improvement. Maloney gave the agency a “gentleman’s C” for progress on station entrances and ancillary facilities — a bump from the C- given in 2011. According to Maloney, crews have access to only the 96th Street station, slated to be completed in summer 2014. The MTA said in response that the project is on schedule.
Meanwhile, the MTA received a C- on Maloney’s report card for impact of construction work, saying the agency had failed to anticipate problems such as dust and has invested “relatively little” in improving the look of the construction sites.
“The Congresswoman’s report card acknowledges our successful and continuing efforts to help mitigate the impact of construction on residents and businesses and the progress made as we get closer to the completion of the Second Avenue Subway,” the MTA said in a statement.
Areas where the MTA has improved since Maloney’s 2011 progress report include better communication with the public (A-), construction management (B+) and keeping the budget and completion date steady (B).
As the December 2016 deadline for Phase I draws closer, Maloney was confident that the remaining portion of the $1.3 billion in federal money committed to the project will be appropriated for the Second Avenue Subway.
“All of that money is in the ground, right now, save $16 million, and that is in the federal budget coming out hopefully this year,” Maloney said.
Rep. wants ex-MTA chiefs' insight on subway projects
With the end of the first phase of the Second Avenue subway in the MTA's sight, Rep. Carolyn Maloney said Monday she wants to pick the brains of ex-agency heads about where the next leg of the line should be built.
Maloney said she will invite the former MTA leaders to an October forum to get “their input and their inspiration and their ideas on how to move this forward as swiftly as possible.”
Though funding for building another piece of the subway is not in place, the MTA describes Phase II as an extension of the Q train up to 125th Street. Phase III would introduce the T line from 125th to Houston streets, while the final installment would bring the project down to Hanover Square in lower Manhattan.
“They put some tunnels downtown, they put some tunnels uptown,” Maloney said of the attempts throughout history to build a Second Avenue line. “I'd like to know where are these tunnels, how close are we to completing those tunnels, what are the projected costs of doing this.”
There are existing tunnels along the Phase II corridor that were built in the 1970s.
“Phase II would be the easiest of the four phases to build,” an MTA official said.