MTA chief: ‘Too early to tell’ about Second Avenue subway Phase II

86th Street cavern of the Second Avenue Subway. (Charles Eckert)
86th Street cavern of the Second Avenue Subway. (Charles Eckert) Photo Credit: MTA Police Dept.

Construction on the first leg of the Second Avenue subway is plugging along toward its 2016 completion date, but MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast was noncommittal Wednesday about funding the second part of the project.

Prendergast said after an MTA board meeting that “it’s too early to tell what will and won’t be included” in the next five-year capital plan.

The expiring capital program, where megaprojects and new equipment are budgeted, funded the first $4.5 billion stretch of the project.

Phase II would bring the Q train from 96th Street to 125th Street.

“One stark difference between the development of the last plan and development of the new plan is Superstorm Sandy, [Tropical Storm] Irene and other issues of climate change that are affecting the system,” Prendergast said.

How to gird the system against the effects of climate change will be one of the topics discussed by a new panel, the Transportation Reinvention Commission, which the MTA is forming at the behest of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Adam Lisberg, the MTA’s chief spokesman, said these are factors that had less weight in previous capital programs than they will have as the next one gets planned.