As the MTA has dug into Second Ave. along the Upper East Side, the agency has come across buildings that are not up to code. Landlords haven’t ensured that their buildings are structurally sufficient, but instead of fighting in court and potentially delaying the already-delayed subway line, the agency opted to pay for building bracings in the fall. Earlier this week, agency officials promised to do a more thorough examination of the “fragile” buildings along Second Ave., amNY’s Heather Haddon reported. “It really proved to be much more problematic and challenging than was originally thought,” MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu said.
For the authority, this admission is a positive step forward. The Second Ave. Subway represents a unique challenge for the MTA because it is the first subway line built through a densely populated neighborhood marked by very old residential buildings. This city and others around the world simply haven’t witnessed the construction of a subway of this magnitude through built-up neighborhoods in generations. That the MTA is so keen to learn from the mistakes makes me believe that, if Phases II-IV of the SAS ever see the funding they need, the construction efforts will grow markedly smoother after Phase I opens in late 2016.