Feds: 2nd Ave Subway Project Likely Not Done Until 2018

Federal report questions MTA costs and deadlines.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Suggests new project is overdue and overbudget. (Published Monday, Aug 22, 2011)

    The long-delayed Second Avenue subway might not be finished until 2018, according to a new report from the federal government.

    Seven more years. That's the gloomy prognosis the feds offered up in assessing the $4 billion megaproject that's become as famous for not being finished as anything else.

    In a recent report, first unearthed by amNewYork,  the Federal Transit Administration predicted the MTA won't finish the new line on the Upper East Side until February 2018 -- nearly 16 months later than the MTA's forecast.

    An MTA spokesman, Kevin Ortiz, disputed the report's findings.

    "A project of this magnitude does not come without risks," Ortiz said. "We continue to work to mitigate those risks, adhere to the current schedule and keep the project on budget."

    But small business owners who have dealt with maze-like streets amid the noise and dust were distressed to hear about the federal assessment.

    "When you're losing money, of course, who's not going to be frustrated," said laundromat owner Bert Tyde, who says he has watched much of his business disappear while jackhammers and construction cranes chop up the street in front of his store.

    Next door, locksmith Joseph Aaron tried to remain optimistic. He just opened a hardware store, betting the noisy neighborhood will become a real estate find once the subway is finished. Aaron signed a 10-year lease.

    "Somebody want to find me, they're going to find me, but it'll of course take some time," said Aaron.

    The federal report also estimated the massive East Side Access project, which will re-route many trains from Long Island to Grand Central Terminal instead of Penn Station, is also unlikely to be finished before 2018.