Frozen in time when the MTA funding dried up in the 1970s, the framework of future New York City subway stations is already done --- but the city is now ready to move on to the next steps.
Jan. 1 will mark five years since the Second Avenue subway station opened, and Gov. Kathy Hochul vowed Tuesday that there will be no more delays to the second phase of the project to expand the public transit system in the Upper East Side.
Hochul and other city officials got to take a look at the tunnels that were excavated decades ago. Work to create 106th and 116th Street subway stations to connect to the 125th Street subway and Metro-North station in East Harlem is expected to begin near year.
"The dreams have always been there but money never matched dreams," Hochul said. "They were ready to go in 1939 and World War II slowed it down. Then they're ready to go in the 1970s and the financial crisis of that era slowed it down again. So finally, in 2021, and hopefully approvals very soon will allow us to announce the start of it in 2022, we'll be able to get it done."
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Phase one of the one infamously delayed Second Avenue subwayfinally opened in 2017 and cost $4.45 billion dollars. When it opened, Q train riders were relieved after nearly a decade of construction and fights about property rights and displaced tenants.
“Nine years is a long time nobody likes construction but it certainly has its payoffs I think," resident Dan Glum said.
The next step will be even more expensive with the price tag of $6.3 billion and straphangers will likely have to wait until at least 2030. The funding will come from the $1 trillion infrastructure bill passed earlier this month. It's the largest investment in the country's roads, bridges and other major projects in decades.
“On a ridership basis, hard to say it, but this project is a bargain as it will serve, when it opens, as many people as the entire Philadelphia subway system," said Acting MTA Chairman Janno Lieber.
Congressman Adriano Espaillat said the economy of his district is depending on the new three future stations and their connection to Metro-North.
“This will be a job creator," he said. "It’s gonna lift this community and connect it to the rest of the world.”