When last we checked in on the 7 line extension plans, amNY had just announced, to little fanfare, the MTA’s seemingly under-the-table plan to construt one of the two planned stops. While I was, at first, skeptical of the reality of these cuts, it seems that I was wrong.
Ten days ago, The Daily News noted some rumblings and grumblings about the plan. But the story came to a head today when amNY reported on the planned efforts of transit advocates to bring attention to these plans.
[Nonvoting rider MTA board representative Andrew] Albert and the New York City Transit Riders Council are scheduled to hold a news conference Monday morning along with elected officials to demand the creation of the 41st Street station.
“Thousands of people live in the area. They deserve a station,” Albert said. “Its an insult to watch the trains whiz by your neighborhood.”
Even worse Albert said, the MTA’s own bean counters estimate, that if they build the 41st Street station now it would cost $200 million, but to wait several years to build it the cost could easily top $400 million.
As details have emerged about the scaled-back plan, we can put together a clearer picture of the planned extension. The MTA will construct a new tunnel that follows 41st St. to 11th Ave. and then heads south down 11th Ave. to a turnaround point at 23rd St. and 11th Ave. Original plans called for a station at 41st and 10th and a terminal at 34th and 11th.
But now, to keep the project under budget, the city will build a shell station at 41st and 10th and only one operating station at 34th and 11th. This so-called shell station could then be converted into an operating station at “some point in the future.”
As rider advocates work to deliver a true extension that could serve Hell’s Kitchen – a vibrant residential area in need of a subway stop – Lee Sander, the proactive new CEO of the MTA, said he would take a look at building the station at 41st and 10th now rather than later.
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.