MTA stops construction on Second Avenue subway amid congestion pricing pause

Josh Einiger Image
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
MTA stops Second Avenue subway expansion construction amid congestion pricing pause
Josh Einiger has details on the construction pause.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The construction of the Second Avenue subway expansion into East Harlem has been paused after the delay of congestion pricing in New York City.

The extension was one of the projects that would have been funded with the future congestion pricing revenues.

With the pause of the congestion pricing program, MTA officials said pending construction projects would have to be prioritized.

"We are still working very hard to figure out the implications and how we respond to the impact on the current capital program. There are a lot of projects we will not be able to build. We will be focusing on state of good repair," MTA President of Construction and Development Jamie Torres-Springer said. "We will be reporting to the board on that next week. We have in a couple of cases issued stop work orders on projects that do not strictly meet that state of good repair requirement. We will provide some more information on that next week. But yes, we have stopped work on Second Avenue subway."

Officials announced $3.4 billion in federal funding to advance the Second Avenue subway project in 2023.

The plan was to extend the Q line from 96 Street into East Harlem and across 125th Street to meet up with Metro North, and the 4, 5, 6 lines. However, the federal funding only covers half of the project. The other half of the funds was relying on revenue from congestion pricing.

The MTA says early prep work to move utility lines in the street, in advance of the major work on tunnels underground has not been delayed so far, but the MTA still stands to lose that massive federal grant if it can't cough up its share of the Q train cash.

"How do we preserve the grants that have already been awarded including the Second Avenue subway phase 2 grant," said MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber last week. "We're going to do our best to prevent it being put at risk, though that is a challenge."

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday, vowed to fund the project, somehow.

"All the ADA work that we're going to be doing, the signalization, we're doing the internet, the Interboro Express, none of those stopped," Hochul said.

But in East Harlem, you can't blame people for being a little suspicious.

Harlem resident Leah Finnie says she won't believe anything, until she sees actual workers, doing actual work.

"It's unfortunate. Because the people who live in this neighborhood deserve the same kind of services," Harlem resident Leah Finnie said. "The only consolation is that the rents are cheaper because they have to walk further, and they have tighter buttocks, what can I tell you."


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