Complaints That MTA Cut Corners to Finish 2nd Avenue Subway

What to Know

  • Construction on current iteration of the Second Avenue line began in 2007 but planning for it stretches back generations
  • Under the first phase of the project, trains will run from 63rd Street to 96th Street at 72nd, 86th and 96th streets
  • Some believe that the MTA rushed to complete the first phase by the end of the year

The Second Avenue subway will open New Year’s Day after nearly a century in the making. As the debut nears, some people complained that the MTA rushed to get the long-awaited subway line finished by the end of the year.

Workers are on round-the-clock holiday shifts as they work to finish the line, which was first proposed by a Public Service Commission engineer in 1919. Stores above the new subway corridor are finally seeing an uptick in business after dealing with daily street construction.

But after getting a viewer tip, NBC 4 New York found that a newly repaved stretch of sidewalk along Second Avenue is flushed with the street – something one police official said could be dangerous.

At 74th Street and Second Avenue, business owner Gabriel Suliman said that he’s concerned the MTA may have rushed and not finished the sidewalk correctly.

The MTA said it’s looking into what went wrong but said the paving problem will be fixed.

Meanwhile, at 96th Street, happy crowds rushed in for a second day of public tours of a new station. Smart phones captured the first glimpses of a $4.5 billion project.

“Lots of open space so a lot of room to walk around,” Upper East Side resident Leroy Graham said.

Peter Lerangis sent photos to his son overseas.

"He's in Mongolia and said the one thing he wished he could do for the holidays is come home and see the opening of this, Lerangis said.

The new station has proven to be a magnet for infrastructure fans old and young.

“I like trains and airplanes and subways and buses,” one touring toddler said.

The 96th Street station has been open to the public for two days. The other stations – 72nd and 86th streets – will get the open house treatment the last week of December.

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