Workers are scrambling to complete Manhattan’s highly anticipated Second Avenue subway by the end-of-year deadline. At a meeting on Monday, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials did not offer an exact opening date. With less than three weeks until the deadline, the pressure is on for MTA to deliver on its promise.
On its website, MTA promises that the long overdue project will “reduce overcrowding and delays on the Lexington Avenue line.” According to the plan, a total of 16 new stations will be built on Manhattan’s East side. The new additions will stretch from 125th Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan. Last month, MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said:
“We do need to set a date, at which time we say we’re a go, or not a go and we’re approaching that point.”
At just over $4 billion, the first phase of the subway line will add new stations at 72nd, 86th and 96th Streets. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is on top of MTA’s project and pushing for an opening date prior to the Dec. 31 deadline. The timeline for the project was set approximately seven years ago. Over the weekend, Cuomo tweeted:
Surveying the 2nd Ave Subway. Good news: the progress is encouraging.
I’m cautiously optimistic about hitting the Jan 1 deadline. pic.twitter.com/qyjYIaIPsG
— Archive: Governor Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 9, 2016
A great concern in the rush to meet the deadline is all the testing that must take place to ensure safety. Each station requires escalators and elevators, which officials reported as complete on Monday. The final tests at each station were to be completed by Dec. 23, MTA officials said. Kent Haggas, an independent engineer working on the project, said on Monday:
“The rate of test completions, which has been a concern of mine for several months, has increased greatly, and I feel it’s now on track to finish by the end of the year.”
Featured Image via Twitter/melissadderosa