The groundbreaking at 99th St. and 2nd Ave. in Manhattan last spring was only the most recent of a long string of groundbreakings for a 2nd Ave. Subway line. The East Side line has been in the works since 1929, when an elevated rail carried trains up and down 3rd Ave. That shadow-casting line is long gone, but replacing it has proved to be a challenge.
Recent municipal fiscal troubles and budget shortfalls at the MTA are oince again imperiling the future of major capital spending projects like the 2nd Ave. Subway. The first (or latest) section is scheduled to be completed in a few months, but even a short segment of limited use is not scheduled to open until 2013.