Boston has it’s T. Philadelphia’s two-line subway system looks like a T. And now, after nearly eight decades in the making New York will be getting its own T line.
That’s right; the MTA is set to sign a contract on my birthday – March 29 – for construction of the oft-delayed Second Avenue subway line, amNew York reported this morning.
Elliot “Lee” Sander, the MTA’s new executive director, and Chairman Peter Kalikow will approve the $333 million contract for the first phase of the project that critics thought would never happen…
Almost immediately after the contract is signed, construction trailers will start to line parts of Second Avenue in the East 90s, MTA officials said.
The groundbreaking ceremony, along with actual digging, is scheduled for late April or early May. The exact location has not been determined.
This announcement comes a week after Kalikow noted the inevitability of the new subway line. Construction will begin nearly immediately after the contract is signed in a few weeks, and the so-called T train will be the first new subway line built in over 60 years. But hold on to your hats, folks.
This part of the Second Ave. subway line, schedule for completion in 2013, will contain a whopping three new stations. The new stops will be at 96th St., 86th St. and 72nd St. with a connection to the current stop at 63rd St. before the T joins the Q for a trip down to Lower Manhattan. As the diagram above notes, the tunnel north of 96th St. still exists from other failed attempts to build the Second Avenue line and will figure into phase 2 of this project.
Interestingly, the upcoming groundbreaking ceremony for this subway – date to be determined – will be not the first or second for this project but rather the third.
The project already went through two groundbreaking ceremonies. The first was in 1925 but work stopped in the face of the Great Depression and World War II. In 1972, Mayor John Lindsay held his own groundbreaking at 102nd Street. More of the tunnel was dug, but then work had to be abandoned during the city’s fiscal crisis.
The third groundbreaking ceremony will be the charm, MTA officials said. Details are still being finalized, but one possibility is bringing dignitaries and a ceremonial pickax to one of the unfinished tunnels from the 1970s
And the MTA construction crews won’t make life easier for East Side residents as work will continue above ground from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. Underground, crews will work around the clock digging through the rock of Manhattan.
As amNY notes, this first phase will be just the start of a project that should wrap up in 2020. Here’s your timetable:
Timetable of the T
2007-13: Phase 1: Three new stations, 96th, 86th and 72nd streets, with connection to Q station at 63rd Street
2014-18: Phase 2: 125th Street to 96th Street
2015-18: Phase 3: 63rd Street to Houston Street
2017-20: Phase 4: Houston Street to Hanover Square
Lots of folks have some questions about the scope of this project, the placement of stops and the MTA’s decision to go with a two-track line instead of a four-track tunnel with the option for express service. I’ll be back later with more info.
For more on the Second Ave. subway, check out SUBWAYblogger’s take. The subway stations – presented through artistic renderings – have never looked cleaner, brighter or more spacious.