Prendergast delivered the hopeful words at an MTA board update on the long-, long-, long-awaited infrastructure project. Construction is done, but the MTA still needs to complete some key tests, which the agency estimates will be finished up by December 23, reports the New York Times. And that, for those who are counting, leaves just a bit more than week to get that subway rolling. … [Read more...] about The Second Avenue Subway Might Actually Open by the End of the Year
In a town where big public-works projects can languish for years or even decades — how’re you liking that Freedom Tower? — one is well advised to relish tangible steps wherever they can be found. And so we’re pleased to report a nugget revealed during a dull MTA board meeting — “terminally boring,” one staffer said — this morning: The board authorized $15 million to buy a vacant lot at Second and 93rd for emergency exit and ventilation for the Second Avenue subway’s 96th Street stop. Which suggests that stop will actually, you know, be coming. Apparently the MTA reminded a developer at work on an apartment tower there of its “right to condemn,” according to staff reports; he agreed to sell for a price that covered his construction costs. By getting an empty lot, the MTA avoids the need to displace existing users, which, as Bruce Ratner can tell you, can create problems. “You’re going to keep seeing stuff like … [Read more...] about Actual, Real, Detectable Progress Toward Second Avenue Subway Announced
A historic announcement was made inside the MTA’s Madison Avenue boardroom this morning: The groundbreaking for the Second Avenue subway will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 12 — a mere two weeks away. The ceremony will be held inside a tunnel, which might suggest to literal-minded folks that ground has in fact already been broken. Of course it has! In fact, there have been two previous groundbreaking ceremonies for the star-crossed subway — first in 1925, again in 1972 — but MTA executive director Elliot Sander, who made the announcement, promised this morning that “the third time’s a charm.” Plans are in place, he noted, for noise mitigation and sidewalk navigability and tunnel-boring machines so badass they require assembly in Italy. Naturally, actual work won’t start until several weeks after the ceremony. —Alec Appelbaum The Line That Time Forgot [NYM] … [Read more...] about Groundbreaking Set (Again) for Second Avenue Subway
Now that it looks like the Second Avenue Subway will actually happen — the groundbreaking is set for next week — it’s time to dream even bigger: As the Times reports today, the planners are considering “roomier, brightly lighted” stations with glass walls and double sets of sliding doors (like on AirTrain). And the glass walls are merely a harbinger of something even, um, cooler: With the platforms sealed off from the tunnels, the dream of every sweaty summertime commuter — air-conditioned stations — becomes a tantalizing possibility. Those Upper East Siders get everything, don’t they? Well, except a subway line, that is, for the last 80 years. 2nd Ave. Subway Platforms May Get Glass Walls and Sliding Doors [NYT]Earlier: Groundbreaking Set (Again) for Second Avenue Subway … [Read more...] about The Second Avenue Subway: Now With AC?
As the Second Avenue Subway’s now-it’s-for-real-we-promise groundbreaking looms, the Times takes a wary walk down memory lane to recall three similar ceremonies in the seventies. A Willie Neuman–narrated video revisits the consecutive groundbreakings at 103rd Street (1972), Canal Street (1973), and 2nd Street (1974). “The line had at least three groundbreakings,” says the author. Oh, at the very least. As Greg Sargent reported in New York three years ago, the first mayoral pickax swing over the star-crossed project occurred way back in 1925, when the mayor was John Hylan. The next time the line came close to reality was 1950, when voters approved a $500 million bond issue to finance it. No pickax action that time: The MTA quietly funneled the money into repairs of existing lines instead. Ten years later, Nelson Rockefeller got involved, which eventually led to the seventies rash of groundbreakings with similar non-results. In a bit of ready-made … [Read more...] about Second Avenue Groundbreaking: Fifth Time’s the Charm