Progress reported on Second Avenue Subway

A train arrives to the Astor Place station early Friday, Dec. 16, 2005 in New York. (AP Photo/ Dima Gavrysh)

February 8, 2011 2:55:45 AM PST
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says progress is being made on the Second Avenue Subway.

The excavation of the west tunnel for the Second Avenue Subway was completed over the weekend.

A 450-foot machine weighing more than 485 tons began mining in May 2010 from 92nd Street.

The machine must be disassembled and brought back to 92nd Street to mine the east tunnel.

The Second Avenue Subway line is on schedule, MTA said. It should be completed by December 2016.

"Construction of this much-needed subway continues to move forward and this week marks another major accomplishment to transform New York as we know it," said MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu.

This big move by the MTA aims to serve more than two hundred thousand people per day, and reduce overcrowding on the adjacent Lexington Avenue Line by as much as 13 percent, or 23,500 fewer riders on an average weekday.

"These are tangible results that will not only expand our capacity but will also bring new economic activity and growth to Manhattan's Upper East Side and points beyond," said Horodniceanu.

The Second Avenue El halted operations north of 59th St to the 129th St Terminal and the Bronx in 1940. The new line will reduce travel times by up to 10 minutes or more for those on the far east side or those traveling from the East Side to Midtown.

The line is being built in phases, with Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway providing service from 96th Street to 63rd Street as an extension to the Q train.

Three new ADA-accessible stations will be placed along Second Avenue at 96th, 86th and 72nd Streets, along with new entrances at the existing Lexington Ave-63 Street Station at 63rd Street and Third Avenue.

Further phases of the project will extend the line from 125th Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in the Financial District.

The design of the tracks will allow for potential extensions into Brooklyn Queens, and the Bronx.

The Second Avenue Subway is one of four large-scale projects planned by the MTA, as they undertake the largest expansion of New York's public transportation system in more than 20 years.

The MTA is also connecting the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal, extending the 7 subway line to the far west side, and building the Fulton Street Transit Center in Lower Manhattan.