Home 7 Line Extension 7 line extension opening now projected for November

7 line extension opening now projected for November

by Benjamin Kabak

Surprise! The 7 line extension isn’t likely to open by late summer or early fall, as the MTA had promised in January. That date has once again slipped a few months, and in a comment to NBC’s Andrew Siff following today’s MTA Board meeting, Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu said that mid fall — November, to be exact — is more likely.

It’s a bit concerning that, for a station so far underground, the escalators and elevators have become a problem. How else are straphangers going to ascend and descend the 11 stories that separate 34th St. and 11th Ave. from the subway platform beneath? (Never mind the fact that nearly everyone other than transit agencies can install escalators and elevators without a problem.)

Meanwhile, for the 7 line, this is yet another delay, even if it is just a minor one. The project was originally supposed to open before Mayor Bloomberg left office in December, but the projected launch date hit June of 2014 nearly 24 months out. When Bloomberg took a ceremonial ride late last year, MTA officials spoke of a “summer” launch, and Board materials last month, as I mentioned, referenced late summer/early fall. Recently, Horodniceanu has discussed an October date, and today, we hear it is November. The Second Ave. Subway, for what it’s worth, is still due to open in December of 2016. I’d probably bet the over.

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Stephen Smith February 26, 2014 - 5:43 pm

Never mind the fact that nearly everyone other transit agencies can install escalators and elevators without a problem.

This is what I said when I lived in DC. Then I moved to New York.

Kevin H February 27, 2014 - 10:27 am


Epson45 February 26, 2014 - 5:51 pm

Who is the manufacturer of the escalator and the elevator of this project? and Why does it not working?

Eric Brasure February 26, 2014 - 6:04 pm

I can’t wait until all the escalators and elevators are out-of-service at this station. Should be a fun time!

sonicboy678 February 26, 2014 - 7:00 pm

Obviously, the MTA insists on opening the station with the works without any sort of backup plan. Well, that’s what happens when the planners have soup for brains.

al February 26, 2014 - 11:21 pm

Damn It, if the holdup is that damn elevator that didn’t pass QC, run an ADA express buses between the Javits Center and Midtown ADA accessible stations (NY Penn, GCT, etc) until its fixed. Don’t hold up everything.

sonicboy678 February 26, 2014 - 11:29 pm

Alternatively, they could temporarily restore the M42 to Javits.

Henry February 27, 2014 - 12:14 am

I mean, the MTA probably can’t open the station early without it being ADA accessible.

Do we know that the station doesn’t have stairs, like the similarly deep stations at Lex/63rd or Roosevelt Island?

sonicboy678 February 27, 2014 - 7:43 pm

Chances are, they didn’t really think stairs through.

What’s wrong with using a temporary bus service until the elevators are finished? I mean, the route I previously mentioned can certainly act as a substitute until they get everything finished at the station.

Brandon February 26, 2014 - 7:07 pm


Roxie February 27, 2014 - 9:40 am

No materials on the escalator.

anon February 26, 2014 - 7:44 pm

It’s bloomberg’s secret plan to get new yorkers to exercise more.

Henry February 26, 2014 - 6:12 pm

Does this have anything to do with those weird inclined elevators they kept talking up?

John-2 February 26, 2014 - 6:15 pm

On the positive side, they can now run a Low-V or Redbird holiday season Nostalgia Train on the 7 line to go with the Hudson Yards dedication….

D in Bushwick February 26, 2014 - 7:32 pm

The opening will now be “November” but did they happen to say which year?
Seriously, did they?

SEAN February 26, 2014 - 7:46 pm

My thaughts exactly.

Rachel February 26, 2014 - 7:48 pm

The problem is with the city workers, they work 2 hours, and then get 1/2 hour brake ,and nobody bother to check how long they take it ,or when they come back when they City where redoing the Q line station wold see is City workers sitting around doing nothing only once when a big Boss came around suddenly they all seemed to be working.

Spendmor Wastemor February 26, 2014 - 8:19 pm

^^^^^ This.

I knew someone who did a stint with MTA maintenance. Your description is an understatement of the actual padding that goes on.

Joe February 27, 2014 - 1:10 pm

There’s a lot of waiting around in construction, not everyone can be busy at the same time all the time. All the hands are required for big lifts and certain tasks, but other times there may literally not be anything for some workers to do until the next all-hands event comes around.

tsarchitect February 26, 2014 - 8:04 pm

So, what’s it going to take for politicians to confront the grotesque inefficiency that American infrastructure projects suffer from?

Is it going to be the end of anti-transit sentiment? A disaster? Foreign competition?

Fool February 27, 2014 - 9:11 am


The problem in NY is never cost, always revenue.

Elvis Delgado February 27, 2014 - 9:19 am

I’m just curious as to what the engineering considerations were that resulted in the platforms being eleven stories below ground in the first place? With no need to tunnel deep underground as in Washington Heights, what’s going on in the strata above the tunnels that requires them to be so deep?

Benjamin Kabak February 27, 2014 - 9:21 am

They had to tunnel underneath the 8th Ave. IND station at 42nd St., the Port Authority underpinnings, the Lincoln Tunnel and Hudson Yards.

BoerumHillScott February 27, 2014 - 9:24 am

They had to go under the Empire Connection and Lincoln Tunnel, and chose to go deep enough so that no special reinforcement was required as the TBMs were digging under the existing tunnels.

Elvis Delgado February 27, 2014 - 10:09 am

I guess that’s reasonable. If they screwed it up and the Lincoln Tunnel collapsed into the excavation, or even if it subsided just a bit, that would be a lot worse than having to wait on elevator/escalator delays!!

lawhawk February 27, 2014 - 11:28 am

I’m going to assume that the delays have to do with the installation of the elevator components. These are one-off pieces of equipment specially made for installation here.

That’s not good for the long term, particularly if there are problems down the road (5 years, 10 years, 20 years out). Replacement parts will be hard, if not impossible to obtain, meaning that getting the equipment fixed will take longer than usual. Heck, if it took months to restore the escalators at Whitehall because parts were hard to come by, what will it be with this?

Where’s the MTA to try and work with standardized equipment specs for these kinds of things? Instead, it’s a hodgepodge that is impossible to maintain.

BruceNY February 28, 2014 - 11:54 pm

5 years down the road??? That ‘fancy’ inclined elevator will be out of service as soon as the third homeless person urinates inside of it. Not that any repair work will include any cleaning/deodorizing/sanitizing afterwards.
And I don’t buy the excuse that the platform needs to be eleven stories underground because it had to pass beneath the Lincoln Tunnel. The tunnel only just dips below street level at 11th Ave.!

Henry March 1, 2014 - 12:52 am

The inclined elevator was developed because the entrance to the station is not directly above the platforms themselves, so you’d need to excavate a passageway just for an elevator (which would provide a host of issues, ranging from the security of a lone passageway to the cost of digging out said passageway for just an elevator).

The tunnel doesn’t have to go that far deep to avoid the Lincoln tunnel. It has to go that far deep to avoid disturbing the tunnel. The Lincoln tunnel is a heavily utilized traffic artery dating from the 1930s that itself is undergoing heavy construction work. To give an idea of what we avoided, take Harold Interlocking. Part of the East Side Access project involves digging directly under Harold Interlocking to access the new tunnels, but work there has been delayed several times due to the complexity of underpinning a major structure, and the costs of freezing the ground are $1M per foot of freezing alone. Considering that, unlike at Harold, the MTA does not have the option of temporarily rerouting or stopping traffic through the Lincoln tunnel, it could have only been worse.

Akim March 30, 2014 - 2:34 pm

The inclined elevators are produced in Italy. Unfortunately the company has not the best reputation when it comes to high profile jobs.


Clarke February 27, 2014 - 12:18 pm

On time and on budget! See you on December 31, 2014 at 11:59pm

Herb Lehman February 27, 2014 - 12:57 pm

If the delay is because of the escalators, I’m not surprised. It took 15 months after Hurricane Sandy to get the escalators in Whitehall ferry terminal to operate… and that’s a two-story building!

I can only imagine how long the 2nd Avenue stations are going to be delayed.

Nathanael March 4, 2014 - 1:22 pm

The 2nd Avenue Subway, unlike most of these other projects, has made a point of using more-or-less off-the-shelf standard technology.

Ken March 5, 2014 - 8:53 am

Not surprised. The escalator on the JZ line on Bowery was 9 months behind schedule. And they only had to replace 1 escalator.


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