NEW YORK | Hudson Boulevard Park & 7 Subway Extension

More info. on the 7 train extension delays a few months earlier to post #10.

In Expansion of No. 7 Line, One Problem: An Elevator

By Matt Flegenheimeron May 29, 2014

The No. 7 train extension to the Far West Side of Manhattan was to open before the end of 2013. Credit Christopher Gregory for The New York Times

The fate of the newest addition to the New York City subway system could be traced last summer to the foothills of Appiano Gentile, at a work site beneath the northern Italian sun.

After six years of construction, the No. 7 train extension to the Far West Side of Manhattan was to open before the end of 2013, in time for the departing mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, whose administration paid for the project, to take a ceremonial ride.

But there was a problem: A custom-designed, diagonal elevator for the new No. 7 train station at 34th Street and 11th Avenue had unexpectedly failed its factory test at the manufacturer’s headquarters in the province of Como.

Transit officials peppered the company, Maspero Elevatori, with questions. Could the issues be resolved quickly? Would they have to adjust the station’s opening date? Answers were elusive.

“It failed in July,” said Michael Horodniceanu, the president of capital construction at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “What happens in August in Europe? They said, ‘O.K., we’ll see you after vacation.’ ”

This is the anatomy of a transit delay — pocked with tales of an ambitious plan, the vagaries of an Italian summer, an unusual funding model and a complex elevator design that had roots in a global landmark and a pyramid-shaped casino, but not in New York’s transportation system.

Though disruptions stalk the area’s transportation network at every turn — on platforms, in bus shelters, at the mouth of the Holland Tunnel — they are felt perhaps most acutely in the capital projects.


7 subway extension photos from last year. We can see more of the tunnels/platforms

7 Extension Update - June 2013

by MTAPhotos, on Flickr

by MTAPhotos, on Flickr

by MTAPhotos, on Flickr

by MTAPhotos, on Flickr

by MTAPhotos, on Flickr

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NYC subway extension may transform Manhattan neighborhood

By Barbara Goldberg on December 21, 2014

NEW YORK — Work crews are scrambling underneath New York City to finish the city’s first major new subway stop in 25 years, a fast-track project intended to revitalize a long-neglected slice of Manhattan.

The city’s transit authority has been working for seven years on the $2.4 billion extension of the Number 7 subway line, once known mainly for transporting fans to New York Mets baseball games and the U.S. Open tennis tournament. Now the line will extend far west to 11th Avenue in Manhattan, a run-down neighborhood long known as Hell’s Kitchen that is home to a major bus station and tunnel entrances to New Jersey.

Like most big infrastructure projects in U.S. cities, the extension has suffered some delays, but it has moved along far faster than a Second Avenue subway that is still under construction after more than 80 years of planning.

The project was sped along by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who came up with a novel financing structure that allowed the project to avoid the time-consuming process of seeking federal funding but has drawn some critics who contend it leaves local taxpayers on the hook for decades.

Problems with a fire alarm and security system have pushed completion until April 2015, said Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, which runs the city’s subways, buses and some commuter rail. Previous delays were blamed on mechanical failures of two inclined elevators to carry passengers to street level.

"It’s a very, very important subway extension. It’s going to be huge," said Kenneth T. Jackson, who teaches history and social sciences at Columbia University and is editor of The Encyclopedia of New York City.

The new station is intended to be the linchpin of the Hudson Yards development, with more than a dozen skyscrapers, a cultural center and parks replacing a neighborhood once dominated by rundown industrial buildings.

Key to the project’s success is its route, through the city’s busiest transit hubs of Grand Central and Times Square, opening up the far west side to the entire mass transit system, said Mitchell Moss, professor of urban planning at New York University. It will also serve as an entry point to the popular High Line elevated park.

The Hudson Yards station is expected to see 200,000 daily riders by 2025, according to MTA projections, on a system that sees 5.8 million riders each day. By way of comparison, the busiest station, Times Square, today sees 197,696 daily riders.

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Fascinating images/renderings

News from December 2013

Mayor Bloomberg gets ride on No. 7 subway line extension he championed

By Jennifer Fermino on Friday, December 20, 2013, 11:50 PM!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_970/7-train-extention-ride.jpg?enlarged
The 7 train arrives at the VIP-only opening of the 34th St. station Friday, and Mayor Bloomberg was there.

City planners project that 13,500 apartments and 24 million square feet of office space eventually will be added to the neighborhood, and that 27,000 people will use the new subway station — which will be named 34th St./Hudson Yards — every day.

The station will also sit near the northern terminus of the High Line, a former elevated rail line that has become a park and hugely popular tourist destination.

“Extending the No. 7 subway is the key to opening the west side for development,” said Michael Horodniceanu, president of MTA capital construction.

Also, more information on the subway station depth/construction techniques, etc. per the MTA press release.

Mayor Bloomberg, MTA Officials, and local leaders take first ride on 7 Subway Train Extension

Project is the First Subway Extension Funded by the City in More Than 60 Years

Press Release December 20, 2013 NYC Transit

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, MTA officials and other local leaders today took the first ride on the extension of the 7 Subway line, terminating at the new subway station located at 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue in Manhattan. The 7 Subway Extension is the first extension funded by the City in more than 60 years, and will provide New Yorkers and visitors with a link to Manhattan’s Far West Side, building on the area’s enormous progress in recent years.

The last extension financed by the City opened in December of 1950, when the Queens Boulevard line was extended to Jamaica-179th Street. This new extension demonstrates the commitment by the Bloomberg Administration to invest in infrastructure projects that will ensure New York City continues to be a leading global city in the future. The $2.4 billion project is scheduled to be completed in the summer 2014.

“Today’s historic ride is yet another symbol of how New York City has become a place where big projects can get done,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This project is the linchpin of an ambitious transit-oriented, mixed-use development that is already transforming Manhattan’s Far West Side, and it demonstrates our Administration’s commitment over the past 12 years to invest in infrastructure that will allow our city to grow for generations to come.”

…As part of the redevelopment of Hudson Yards, a 45-block area on Manhattan’s Far West Side, the City of New York and the MTA worked together to extend the 7 Subway line farther west from its current terminus at Times Square to the new subway station at 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue. Once completed, the 7 Subway will be the only line south of 59th Street to provide service west of Ninth Avenue, offering access to the Jacob Javits Convention Center and introducing subway service and fostering transit-oriented development to the emerging, mixed-use community in Midtown West. Service will also improve for customers using the 7 Subway line in Queens and Manhattan as a result of the new station and additional tail tracks that extend to 26th Street to allow for the storage of more trains.

Construction of the extension began in December 2007. For the first time in New York City, tunnel boring machines (TBMs) were used to mine the subway tunnels. Two Herrenknecht manufactured TBMs burrowed 9,285 feet from Eleventh Avenue and 26th Street to Times Square. Local 147 NYC Sandhogs offered the Mayor the opportunity to name the TBMs and he chose to name them after his daughters, Emma and Georgina. As the tunnel boring machines mined, they placed pre-cast concrete lining rings along the excavated tunnel, making up the permanent liner of the finished tunnel.

Tunneling between 34th Street and Times Square presented unique challenges, as the subway will run under the existing Eighth Avenue Subway, Amtrak/NJ Transit tunnels, as well as tunnels to the former New York Central Line, the Lincoln Tunnel and the Port Authority Bus Terminal and ramps.

To create the new station cavern below 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue, the contractor used controlled drill-and-blast. Work will continue into next year to complete full signal and power installation.

…The new subway station at 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue will be ADA accessible, and will be the first station in the system to have two high-rise incline elevators that will provide access to riders between the upper mezzanine and lower mezzanine, which is 108 feet below street level. Four high-rise escalators will also be installed at the station.

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Here’s to hoping developers won’t drop the ball in 2015

By Steve Cuozzo on December 29, 2014 | 10:05pm

The banner year of 2014 deserves a banner sequel. Here, in no particular order, is a wish list for the new year — our own and on behalf of some deserving developers, landlords and neighborhoods.
Things that are supposed to happen in 2015 which we seriously hope do happen:

No. 7 extension. The MTA has repeatedly postponed the scheduled opening of the new subway line connecting Times Square to 11th Avenue and 34th Street. The latest target is April. Getting to Related Cos.’ and Oxford Properties’ fast-rising Hudson Yards complex and to the High Line Park’s north end will never be the same.

Changes to Subways, Buses Coming in 2015

By: Jose Martinez on January 6, 2015
Changes big, small and not too popular are on the horizon for bus and subway commuters in 2015. NY1’s Jose Martinez has a rundown on what riders can expect.

The last time a 7 train went this far west, it was all for show.

That was in December 2013, and the opening of the 34th Street/Hudson Yards station has been pushed back repeatedly since then, thanks to problems with its escalators and elevators.

If and when it does open, it will help me a lot. Instead of getting off at 34th Street and taking a bus over, it will just be one continuous ride to the Javits Center,” says one rider.

Hold that thought for now, even though the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is still publicly hoping the station can open in the first quarter of the new year.

Within the next couple of months, our customers will be able to access the new number 7 station on the Far West Side,” says MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz.

The actual debut of the $2.4 billion dollar line extension stands to be a highlight for commuters and the MTA during a year in which the agency will also push for full funding of its $32 billion Capital Program.

Made (mostly under) Manhattan

Written by Douglas John Bowen on Tuesday February 3, 2015

Subway expansion as TOD prod

Seemingly a world away, five miles or so up the Hudson River in Midtown Manhattan, system expansion competes with rehabilitation far more aggressively, as two subway extension projects move forward fitfully: The No. 7 line addition reaching toward Manhattan’s “far” West Side; and the Second Avenue Subway, decades delayed but now a real thing with an optimistic December 2016 opening date for Phase 1, and a Phase 2 add-on north to 125th Street being openly discussed.

Ardently backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, first as a means to attract the Olympic Games and then as a transit-oriented-development (TOD) tool, the roughly 1.5-mile, $2.4 billion No. 7 extension failed to meet a December 2013 target opening, set to occur before Bloomberg’s departure from office. A debut sometime in 2015 remains in flux. Even so, the extension already has succeeded in its role as a TOD agent, as Hudson Yards construction gains speed and is significantly transforming Manhattan’s West 30s.

Relative to New York City population standards, “There’s no one there” right now, MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu quipped in an interview with Railway Age, making the project “classic TOD. We’re creating the transit link.” Manhattan real estate interests in various media, often adding words like “transformative,” echo Horodniceanu’s belief in the TOD aspect.

Whenever it opens, the No. 7 extension will be equipped with Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC), as will much of the existing line from Times Square to Flushing, Queens, courtesy of Thales Transportation, becoming the second MTA New York City Transit subway line to be so fortified after NYCT’s L (Canarsie) Line.

One take on MTA maintenance: ‘It’s the landlord’s problem’

By Eric Engquist on February 12, 2015
New York City’s public-transit system is a $1 trillion asset. Photo by Associated Press.

…“We’ve lost sight of the fact that some [public] investment does in fact generate returns,” he lamented.

But panelists were hardly without something to say about the need for the $32 billion capital plan and what they deemed a lack of public interest in it.

“It’s hard for normal people to understand how much it costs” to maintain the transit system, said Joan Byron, director of policy at the Pratt Center for Community Development in Brooklyn. “We’re a renters’ city, not an owners’ city. [People think,] ‘It’s the landlord’s problem.’”

MTA Chairman and CEO Tom Prendergast often points out that if the system is a $1 trillion asset, applying the rule of thumb about spending 3% of an asset’s value each year on maintenance would come to $30 billion. Yet the MTA is asking to spend only a little more than that over five years, and has lined up barely half of it.

The agency has said about $22 billion is for maintenance; the rest is for enhancements and expansion. Although Mr. Cuomo initially called it “bloated,” Ms. Byron noted that is rather modest.

“**The real estate industry needs to step up for state-of-good-repair as it has for expansion,” said Ms. Byron, referring to developers’ support for projects like the Fulton Transit Center and the extension of the No. 7 train to the West Side.

Seated next to her on the dais, one of the city’s top real estate executives, Janno Lieber, a key figure in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, quipped, “I wander around Silverstein Properties muttering about state-of-good-repair all the time!”**

But he agreed with Ms. Byron about the public’s complacency, saying they are satisfied with the transit network. “New Yorkers who vote are comfortable with the system,” Mr. Lieber said. “They’re not yelling for the system to be better.”

The MTA’s Mr. Prendergast, however, has said he feels pressure from riders who never experienced the sorry condition of the system before its historic improvement began with the first five-year capital plans in the early 1980s. Where customers were once happy to get home on time and unscathed, now they expect countdown clocks and Wi-Fi on subway platforms.

Wow! The “Wunderkind” are forging ahead with a VISION for mother nature!

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MTA must meet challenge of rising dependence on subways

By Editorial Board on February 24, 2015

In some lucky parts of New York, they build the subway first and wait for the neighborhood to catch up. That’s what is happening on the far west side of Manhattan. The still-unfinished 7-train extension is already powering a massive build-out of commercial and residential towers.

But in other parts of the city, things work the opposite way. As older neighborhoods regenerate and flourish, local subway lines often struggle as waves of new riders appear. It then falls to residents, politicians and advocacy groups to hound the MTA for better service.

That’s what is happening now along the Fulton Street spine of the A and C lines in Brooklyn – around Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant and East New York.

Ridership is up significantly across the system. On each of 29 days last year, the number of rides provided exceeded 6 million. Yet service isn’t up to speed.

…And the 7-train extension? We need that, too. The MTA is building it with city money – not its own cash – and the project will help our economy. That’s all good news.

Still, it’s the MTA’s duty to ensure that the subways keep up with the times and give beleaguered commuters the best ride possible. It has a way to go.


More info.

Readers Write: Second Avenue line stuck in the slow lane

Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2015 2:47 pm

…One trick used by transit managers to complete any project within budget, is to drop a portion of the original scope of work. This saves the necessary dollars which were not available to deliver 100 percent of what was originally promised. The dirty little secret no one will talk about is that in an attempt to save costs, a decision was made early on in the project to delete a third center express track which was part of the original proposed project scope.

…The promised intermediate station at 10th Avenue & 41st Street at a cost of $500 million was deleted from the original scope of work in 2007 as a cost saving measure to complete the #7 line extension within the available project budget. This savings of $500 million kept the overall project cost at $2.4 billion (original budget was $2.1 billion). The project scope does include construction of a shell at 10th Avenue & 41st Street to support a future station at a later date.

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Link to see pictures released by MTA of the new subway stop (PDF)

Benjamin Kabak has a couple of pics in his blog

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M.T.A. officials predict further delays to 7 extension

By Kelly Weill on March 23, 2015

The already-delayed 7 Line extension may encounter further setbacks, M.T.A. officials said Monday.

During a meeting of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Capital Program Oversight Committee, officials said additional construction delays are possible on the subway extension, which was originally slated to open December 2013.

In a statement, the committee said all sides “are aggressively pursuing completion of construction and testing forecast for the end of second quarter 2015 …” However, service “may occur at a later date,” the statement said.

According to the committee’s latest report, potential delays might result from ongoing construction on a ventilation building at a station at 34th Street and 11th Avenue in Manhattan. Delays in testing fire alarm, ventilation and elevator systems have previously been cited as major obstacles to the station’s completion. Testing of the various systems must begin by April, or the project is at risk for further delays, officials said.

The new targeted completion date—now several times delayed—is already being eyed as too optimistic.

“Our goal remains to begin service by the end of the second quarter, but there is a growing likelihood it will not begin until the third quarter,” M.T.A. spokesperson Adam Lisberg said.

Why D.C. May Have Left Critical Transit Money on the Table

By Josh Cohen on April 6, 2015

NYC’s $2.3 billion 7 subway line extension is being fully funded by two “value capture” bond issuances. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

As people continue to pour into America’s largest cities, good transit is increasingly critical. Cities without robust transit systems see it as part of the solution for gridlocked streets and housing problems. Cities with good transit systems, such as New York and Washington, D.C., are stretched to capacity and face billions of dollars in backlogged projects to upgrade and expand. With a dwindling pool of federal transportation funding available for local and regional projects and a local tax base often still recovering from the recession, transit agencies and governments are scrambling to find new sources of funding to build out the trains, bus rapid transit and streetcars many constituents want.

“In the current [economic] climate, it’s more important than ever to be able to … control your own destiny through local sources of funding,” says Steve Schlickman, executive director at University of Illinois at Chicago’s Urban Transportation Center. Schlickman was the lead principal researcher on a new study that makes the case for value capture as an untapped resource for funding capital transit projects.

…Value capture is a wonky term for the money cities recover from private entities that benefit from public investment. Value capture can be a land-value tax, tax increment financing (TIF), impact fees or even joint investment by public and private entities. When, for example, a new light-rail station is built, land values around the station tend to increase dramatically and lead to greater profit for developers. According to the UTC study, a city that plays their cards right can capitalize on that land value increase by coordinating with developers and convincing them the profits they’ll gain by investing in infrastructure will outweigh the costs of higher taxes and fees.

It’s not a new concept, nor is the idea of using it to pay for transit projects. Schlickman says several years ago former Federal Transit Administration head Peter Rogoff even told state and local agencies to start using value capture strategies rather than relying on traditional funding sources. But, Schlickman explains, “that hasn’t really happened in dramatic fashion throughout the industry. You hear about things here and there, but there’s no groundswell effort.”

He hopes his report can help change that. To do so, the UTC researchers looked at a planned extension of San Francisco’s Muni light-rail M line, D.C. Metro’s NoMa-Gallaudet station construction, NYC’s Hudson Yards redevelopment and 7 line subway extension, and six TIF-funded transit projects on Chicago’s L train system.

The details of each case study vary widely. In San Francisco, value capture provided $70 million of the project’s estimated $420 million to $720 million cost. In D.C., it provided $25 million of the total $103.7 million needed. NYC’s $2.3 billion subway extension is being fully funded by two “value capture” bond issuances totaling about $3 billion, which the study says makes it the “largest transit value capture initiative in the country.” In Chicago, TIF provided anywhere from 2 percent to 100 percent of the funding for the six transit projects.

MTA now eying Q3 for 7 line extension opening

By Benjamin Kabak on April 27, 2015
The stairs and the platforms are ready, but the rest of the 7 line station at 34th St. and 11th Ave. isn’t. (Via MTA)

At this point in our saga, the monthly release of the MTA Board books presents another opportunity to find out that the 7 line extension opening has been delayed. In March, the Board saw a fancy presentation with photos from the completed but unopened station while MTA Capital Construction officials noted that opening may not be until the start of the third quarter. In this month’s Transit committee meetings, we learn that the project is now officially delayed until the third quarter of 2015. The MTA hasn’t said if July 1 or September 30 will be the opening, but they expect the great unveiling to be some time in that time period.

This month’s materials don’t go into the same detail as previous updates. After all, the MTA’s Capital Program Oversight Committee has a variety of projects that require oversight, and they can’t all be as comically delayed as the 7 line extension. But we know that the vent fans, some alarm systems, escalators and inclined elevators have been at the root of the delay. Some of these are systems the MTA opted not to purchase off the shelf due to a combination of low bid requirements, Made in America obligations and sheer stubbornness.

Meanwhile, the one-stop extension — without, of course, the station at 41st St. and 10th Ave. that would have dramatically improved this project’s overall value — will now open more than 16 months before outgoing Mayor Bloomberg basically forced the MTA to conduct a ceremonial ride as part of his valedictory lap around the city. Because the area is still under development and considered Manhattan’s final frontier, few residents are up in arms over the delay. The project simply wasn’t disruptive to a densely-populated area.

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Lol I hope it opens then. But it wouldn’t surprise me if its extended. MTA man, dysfunctional. :grin:

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the hype for this art piece is building…

Crain’s: Centerpiece of Hudson Yards—a sculpture—will cost $200 million

p.s. is the main plaza the end point for the new park? I didn’t know where to post this.

Hudson Boulevard coming alive


Do we know if they are still continuing the park like in the master plan? With the bridges, etc.