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Second Avenue subway a priority for Trump, Rep. Maloney says

President Donald Trump is making the Second Avenue

President Donald Trump is making the Second Avenue subway an infrastructure priority, according to Rep. Carolyn Maloney. Above, MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast, left, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center, and Maloney, right, walk to the platform of the 96th Street station of the Second Avenue subway on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Completing the Second Avenue subway is on President Donald Trump’s list, according to assurances his team gave Rep. Carolyn Maloney.

Maloney (D-Manhattan) said Thursday that the project, which in the next phase would extend uptown to Harlem and in later phases would go downtown, is on Trump’s list of 50 infrastructure projects he wants to prioritize. While she has not spoken to Trump directly about the project, she said she’s encouraged that members of his transition team told her it’s a priority.

“Everything has to start with a plan,” she said. “It’s my job to get it on the list and to keep it on the list, and to work with my colleagues in government and the administration to fund it.”

Early estimates for Phase II put the cost at about $6 billion, according to the MTA, with construction unlikely to start before 2019 or 2020. The first phase, which was completed in time for the new year, cost nearly $4.5 billion.

The MTA’s capital program through 2019 has allocated about $1 billion dollars to build north.

Maloney said the transition team has “floated” a cost estimate of about $14 billion for both Phase II and III. It wasn’t immediately clear if that figure reflected federal money or a combination of federal and state funds, she said.

That number mirrors the $14.2 billion estimate for both phases that appeared in a list, first reported by the McClatchy newspapers, where the Second Avenue subway ranked as No. 18 of the 50 projects the administration favors. McClatchy said the list was a draft prepared by a Washington-based consulting firm.

A representative for the MTA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order stripping federal grant money from “sanctuary” states and cities, which Mayor Bill de Blasio said would likely affect the NYPD more than any other city agency. Maloney said she believes the funding for infrastructure is a separate funding line altogether, but added: “I’m opposed to any cuts to the city of New York.”

Jessica Walker, the president and CEO of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, said she’s very eager for Phase II of the subway to start.

“This is exactly the kind of infrastructure investment we need to remain competitive,” Walker said.


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