A few short days ago, it seemed as though the 7 line extension project might be scaled back. Well, not only were these cuts scrapped, but the funding for this capital construction project seems to be in place now as well, The New York Post reported today.
The city took its first practical step toward building a subway extension to the far West Side yesterday when investors gobbled up bonds totaling $2 billion for the project, clearing the way for construction to begin in late spring.
“This is definitely going ahead. The money has been raised and construction will begin,” Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff said of the extension of the No. 7 line to 11th Avenue and 34th Street, where will anchor a new business district.
These bond will be repaid by the taxes taken in by the nearly 24 million square feet of office space that should follow the two new stops on the 7 line.
For years, the far West Side in the area around the approaches to the Lincoln Tunnel has resembled a wasteland. Car dealerships and repair shops dot a landscape often choked with cars waiting to get into the tunnel. The bus, never a speedy choice, is the only public transportation option, and the nearest subway stops are at 8th Avenue.
But in a few years, the subways should reach to the far West Side as the 7, immortalized by John rocker, will soon stop at 41st St. and 11th Ave. and 34th St. and 11th Ave. The tracks themselves will extend down to 23rd and 11th, maybe portending a future stop.
With the 7, this area should immediately become more attractive to businesses and potential residents alike. The 7 offers a connection to the Times Square trains; the B, D, F and V at Bryant Park; and the Grand Central trains before heading into Queens. But I have to wonder if that Lincoln Tunnel and the traffic it breeds will be more of a factor than viable public transportation?
For more on the 7 line extension, check out all of the technical documents at the MTA’s Capital Construction Web site. This track image comes from the Scoping Document.