NEW YORK | Second Avenue Subway

The Second Avenue Subway project will include a two-track line along Second Avenue from 125th Street to the Financial District in Lower Manhattan. It will also include a connection from Second Avenue through the 63rd Street tunnel to existing tracks for service to West Midtown and Brooklyn. Sixteen new ADA accessible stations will be constructed.

The Second Avenue Subway will reduce overcrowding and delays on the Lexington Avenue line, improving travel for both city and suburban commuters, and provide better access to mass transit for residents of the far East Side of Manhattan. Stations will have a combination of escalators, stairs, and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, elevator connections from street-level to station mezzanine and from mezzanine to platforms.

Under the current plan, the project will be built in four phases. Phase One will include tunnels from 105th Street and Second Avenue to 63rd Street and Third Avenue, with new stations along Second Avenue at 96th, 86th and 72nd Streets and new entrances to the existing Lexington Av/63 Street Station at 63rd Street and Third Avenue.

Second Ave Subway Facts

The Second Avenue Subway will reduce overcrowding and delays on the Lexington Avenue line, improving travel for both city and suburban commuters, and provide better access to mass transit for residents of the far East Side of Manhattan. The line is being built in phases; the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway will provide service from 96th St. to 63rd St. as an extension of the Q Line train.

  • When complete in December 2016, the first phase will:

  • Serve approximately 200,000 daily riders

  • Decrease crowding on the Lexington Avenue Line by as much as 13%, or 23,500 fewer riders on an average weekday; and

  • Travel time will be reduced by 10 minutes or more for many riders traveling from the Upper East Side
Phase 2 which may start in 2019 according to an article earlier this year…


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I took a tour of Bellevue the other day when it was over 90 degrees and was just begging for a subway in this area. This line will be a savior for the area. Also, it might help spur some nice developments once fully complete. The added lines could help spur highrise development.


This tunnel at 101st Street, which now appears to be almost complete, was originally constructed in the mid-1970s by a joint venture of Cayuga Construction and Thomas Crimmins Contracting.

The tunnel is being renovated and brought up to current standards as part of Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway project.

You might wonder what this tunnel will be used for, since the last station stop for Phase I is 96th Street. It will be used to store out-of-service trains until Phase 2 of the project is built at some future time.


Second Avenue subway line construction is progressing: officials

Presently, 65% of phase one is complete, with completion slated for December 2016. One hundred percent of the design is complete, and all federal and state funding is in hand.

By Caitlion Nolan on Friday, May 16, 2014

New milestones in the Second Avenue subway line were announced Friday afternoon by elected officials and those involved in construction to remind New Yorkers that development is actually underway, something many locals have seemed to given up hope with.

“I cannot tell you how many of my constituents are contacting me with questions about whether or not it will be completed,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, NY-12, who said the number one takeaway from the announcement should be that "it’s going to be completed."

“[I’M ASKED] ‘Will the money be there? Will the work be done?’,” she said. “Their lives have been disrupted…”

“For years, people have been asking me if they will live long enough to ride the second avenue subway,” said senator Liz Krueger. “Usually I’ve had to respond that it depends on your age, but now I finally feel we can say with confidence, 'get ready. We will soon have a new subway to ride.’”

Maloney announced that “the MTA is hitting its milestones and much of phase 1 is completed or near completion. The MTA has all of the federal and state funding needed to build the project, the designing is all done, tunneling is finished and blasting operations have been completed.”

Presently, 65 % of phase one is complete, with completion slated for December 2016. One hundred percent of the design is complete, and all federal and state funding is in hand.

The building of 96th street, 86th street and 72nd street stations is in progress, and the retrofitting of 63rd street station, which was built in 1983, is also in progress.

…All 10 construction contacts have been bid out and executed, and four have been completed. Six are in progress.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, NY-12, said the number one takeaway from the announcement should be that “it’s going to be completed.”

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10 facts about the Second Avenue Subway

After nearly 100 years of planning and construction, the first portion of the Second Avenue Subway is about two-thirds complete.

Published May 1, 2014

8. The new line is meant to ease congestion.

Roughly 1.5 million passengers are carried on the 4/5/6 subway line every day — about a third of the entire system’s ridership, according to Horodniceanu. When the first phase is completed, the MTA predicts the Lexington Avenue line will have about 13 percent fewer riders.

9. The new tunnels are deeper than older lines.

Most of the first subway lines, built at the beginning of the last century, are roughly 30 feet deep. The new line ranges from about 100 to 130 feet deep.

10. There isn’t a rat problem in the tunnels … yet.

Horodniceanu said the construction sites haven’t had any rat problems, mostly because the vermin go where people go. “If there’s no food, rats done come out,” he said.


MTA asks for $1.5B for next phase of Second Avenue Subway

By Rebecca Harshbarger on August 8, 2014 | 3:12am

The MTA’s next capital plan, a five-year program to be submitted to the state Legislature for funding this fall, will include $1.5 billion for the second phase of the Second Avenue Subway, extending it to East Harlem, officials said Thursday.

The first phase, consisting of Q-train stations at 96th, 86th and 72nd streets and connecting to the existing F line at Lexington Avenue/63rd Street, is scheduled for completion in ­December 2016.
The second phase will include stops at 106th, 116th and 125th streets.

Most of the $1.5 billion will go toward planning, design and environmental studies, but MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said there could be shovels in the ground as early as 2019.

The feds are expected to chip in on the second phase.

Here’s what Phase 2 looks like…

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Second Avenue Subway: March 15, 2014

Second Avenue Subway: March 15, 2014
by MTAPhotos, on Flickr

Second Avenue Subway: March 15, 2014 by MTAPhotos, on Flickr

Second Avenue Subway: March 15, 2014
by MTAPhotos, on Flickr

Second Avenue Subway: March 15, 2014
by MTAPhotos, on Flickr


80 ft deep subway stops seems reasonable than the 130 ft estimate from other sources. More information on the caverns, stations, etc…

How deep will the subway tunnel be? Will people / buildings feel the vibration?

The platform at 72nd Street is about 90 feet deep. During construction there will be noise and vibrations within limits. The tunnel will be through bedrock; therefore the vibration impact will be within the limits set out in the FEIS.

More info. on other stations. (PDF)

In planning for more than 50 years, the 2nd Avenue subway line is now a becoming a reality. A number of different methods will be used to tunnel for 13.7 kilometers (9 mi) underneath Manhattan, which is densely populated. 90% of the tunneling will be performed by a tunnel boring machine. The rest of it will be done using the cut and cover method and mined drill and blast, for sections, generally the 16 stations, that average 275 meters (902 ft) in length. The stations at 86th and 72nd Streets will be mined. This will be challenging, given the number of high value, high rise properties in their vicinities.

The 96th Street cut and cover station will be at about 15 meters (49 ft) deep one of the shallowest stations. Stations at the two mined stations will be between 25.9 meters (85 ft) and 27.4 meters (90 ft) deep in rock. Slurry or diaphragm walls, 1.1 meters (4 ft) wide and 6.1 meters (20 ft) long and approximately 35 meters (115 ft) deep, will be alongside the sections between East 93rd and 95th Streets. In as much as the rock is shallower between East 91st and 93rd Streets, 1.1 meters (4 ft) diameter secant piles will do the same work at shallower depths. The construction method that will be used should ease concerns for the above buildings, because only two shafts will be required for excavation.

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Second Ave. Subway Delays Cast Doubt on 2016 Completion, Consultant Says

By Lindsay Armstrong on June 27, 2014 4:07pm

The MTA says the project is still on target to open in December 2016.

UPPER EAST SIDE — Delays on the Second Avenue Subway construction could push back the planned opening of the long-in-the-works project, according to a recent report by an independent engineering consultant.

In a report made public at an MTA committee meeting Monday, engineering consultant Kent Haggas expressed concerns about how delays on two sub-projects may affect the overall schedule before the slated December 2016 opening.

The report noted that equipment rooms at the 72nd Street station are two to three months behind schedule, and that there there have been substantial delays in getting permanent electricity to all of the stations. Only some of that delayed time has been made up for by the MTA’s recent attempts to expedite the project, he said.

Haggas also said that about 25 issues engineers asked the MTA to address in December 2012 are still unresolved, and now there are dozens more.

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Second Avenue Subway Update - September 3, 2014

Second Avenue Subway: 96th Street
by MTAPhotos, on Flickr

Second Avenue Subway: 96th Street
by MTAPhotos, on Flickr

Second Avenue Subway: 96th Street
by MTAPhotos, on Flickr


I keep forgetting about all of the subterranean work. The funny thing is that most people have no idea what goes on below the ground, especially in Manhattan. Its a labyrinth essentially. Big enough to be its own city. These extra lines, both on the East and West will provide high density development opportunities for years to come after they are finished.


MTA wants $1.535 Billion to start SAS Phase 2

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority today published its proposed 2015-2019 Capital Program, which included a request for $1.535 billion to start construction of Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway.

The only construction that will be funded, if approved, would be the necessary tunnels from 105th Street to 125th Street.

The construction of the new stations would, in all likelihood, be funded as part of the MTA’s 2020-2024 Capital Program.

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Promise of New Subways Has West Siders Excited and East Siders Skeptical

The Upper East Side is at last seeing progress on its new subway line. For the residents and businesses in the area affected by this vast construction project, it has been an exercise in endurance.

Video by Melanie Burford and Greg Moyer
Publish Date October 2, 2014

Ms. McCarney opened her salon 12 years ago, when no one thought the subway would ever be built. Her storefront was blocked by construction for four years, she said, with smokestacks and other construction materials blocking her awning — and any natural light — until this past January.

She said her business would not have survived if she had not already had a loyal clientele.

“I didn’t sign up for any of the construction,” she said in her salon recently, “but I did dress up as a Second Avenue construction worker for Halloween last year.”

And though the blasting in Phase 1, from 96th to 63rd Street, is now finished, she still has complaints: “What’s the subway going to bring me? I won’t be able to survive if there’s a subway escalator right next to my store,” she said, explaining that the rents would be too high. She is planning to relocate her business when her lease is up in 2017.

Most of the businesses on her block were evicted to make room for construction, she said. “The neighborhood has really gone downhill, but now the rents are going up,” she added.

Phase 1 service is scheduled to begin in December 2016, said Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the transportation authority.

Video/article from the NYT


Phase two of 2nd Avenue Subway is included in the next capital program (page 27) and so is ESA and Penn. Station Access.

What’s more – A rendering of a R-211 subway car is shown on page 16.

Also, another article written earlier in August 2014 on Phase 2 of 2nd ave. subway.

Don’t interrupt Second Ave. subway project

By The Editorial Board on August 10, 2014

The Second Avenue Subway’s 86th St. caverns on July 17, 2014. (Credit: Flickr / mtaphotos)

Score it an encouraging move forward for the long-awaited Second Avenue “stubway.” The MTA said last week it would include $1.5 billion for phase two of the line in its 2015-19 capital plan.

So when the MTA finishes building phase one over the next two years – and is able to extend Q service on an itsy-bitsy stretch from 63rd to 96th streets – the Second Avenue subway construction project should keep advancing north to 125th Street without undue delay.

That’s no small thing.

New Yorkers have been talking about building a Second Avenue subway since the end of World War II.

Groundbreaking for the line’s most recent incarnation took place in 1972. Then came Gotham’s catastrophic brush with bankruptcy in 1975. Work lurched to a halt. So now – when the 33-block stub is completed in a little more than a year – phase two into Harlem will begin.

The MTA still has plenty of design riddles and financial conundrums to resolve. And the $1.5 billion earmark will only pay for about a third of the Harlem leg. But MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast says straphangers could see shovels in the ground north of 96th Street by 2019.

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MTA: We’re Not Counting on Albany to Help Pay for Capital Program

By Brad Aaron on October 6, 2014

The City Council transportation committee today passed bills to lower the city’s speed limit and give hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers a transit-related tax benefit. But most of this afternoon’s hearing was dedicated to the next MTA capital plan.

Here are the highlights.

–MTA representatives rattled off a long list of projects slated for funding in the 2015-2019 Capital Program, with big ticket items including East Side Access (to be completed), phase two of the Second Avenue Subway (no completion date), and Penn Station Access (beginning work). Also in the program is the implementation of a new fare box system, which reps said would allow for payments online and via phone, as well as hundreds of new subway cars, over 1,000 buses, and track and signal upgrades.

–There is currently a $15 billion gap between the capital program price tag and available revenues. Biennial fare increases figure into the capital plan’s revenue projections, and MTA expects to receive $125 million a year from the city — a princely sum compared to the anticipated contribution from the state, which at this point, reps said, is zero.

– Council members had lists of their own, with asks including rail service to LaGuardia, Select Bus Service on Staten Island, subway countdown clocks on lettered lines, and improved access for the disabled. On the revenue side, congestion pricing foe Weprin asked if the MTA had considered the Sam Schwartz Move New York bridge toll reform plan. MTA reps said they’ve seen the proposal but have not spoken to Schwartz about it. Committee chair Ydanis Rodriguez said the council wants to help MTA raise money, and asked that council members be included in early discussions on “creative” revenue sources. ”We’ll take ideas from just about anyone,” was the reply.

There is some question as to whether — or how — old Second Avenue Subway tunnels, bored during the project’s previous false starts, will be used. MTA reps said they could be used for something, but maybe not running trains.

Second Avenue Subway Update - October 13, 2014

Second Avenue Subway - October 13, 2014
by MTAPhotos, on Flickr

Second Avenue Subway - October 13, 2014
by MTAPhotos, on Flickr

Second Avenue Subway Update - October 13, 2014
by MTAPhotos, on Flickr

Second Avenue Subway Update - October 13, 2014
by MTAPhotos, on Flickr

Second Avenue Subway - October 13, 2014
by MTAPhotos, on Flickr


Trottenberg: Federal Cuts Could Make MTA Funding Gap Even Bigger

By Stephen Miller, Friday, October 17, 2014

Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said today that the MTA is making “optimistic assumptions” about federal funding as it plans its next five-year capital program. The agency has identified only half the funds to cover the projected costs of the plan, which maintains, upgrades, and expands the transit system. At a panel with top-level city agency heads this morning, Trottenberg, who sits on the MTA board, warned about a possible cut in federal support, which would further widen the funding gap.

A drop in federal funds would supposedly increase pressure on Governor Andrew Cuomo, who controls the transit authority, to support new sources of revenue. So far, the governor has opposed any new revenue for the MTA.

This morning’s panel, which kicked off the annual meeting of the American Planning Association’s New York Metro chapter, featured Trottenberg, City Planning Commission Chair Carl Weisbrod, HPD Commissioner Vicki Been, and EDC President Kyle Kimball. It was moderated by Regional Plan Association Executive Director Tom Wright.

Trottenberg, who was a top U.S. DOT official before moving to NYC government, questioned the assumptions the MTA is making about the federal contribution to its capital program. “At the moment, they have half the funds in hand,” she said. “I’m not even quite sure that they have that money in hand, because it does make some optimistic assumptions perhaps about what’s happening at the federal level.”

After the event, I asked Trottenberg why she thought the MTA’s assumptions are optimistic. She took a long pause before answering. “There is a big question mark about what the federal funding picture is going to look like in the next few years, and understandably when you’re doing a capital budget you have to take a guess at a number,” she said. “But I think there’s a chance that the feds are going to be even less supportive on the transit front than they have been in the past.”

Many political analysts expect Republicans to gain control of the Senate in November, which could disrupt the current stasis in federal transportation policy.

While Trottenberg raised the possibility of a decrease in federal support for transit, the MTA expects those funds to remain steady.

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Second Avenue subway construction comes to the East 80s

By Lisa Fraser on October 29, 2014

The MTA is currently in phase one of the construction, which will extend the Q train from 57th Street-Seventh Avenue to 96th Street-Second Avenue.

An MTA spokesperson said the project was 72% complete as of Sept. 1 and is both on budget and on schedule to be completed in December 2016.

The station will have escalator and elevator access and will be wheelchair accessible.

According to the MTA, the new line will ease congestion on the 4, 5, 6 trains along Lexington Avenue.


63 St Subway Extension Opened 25 Years Ago this Week

October 31st, 2014

The 63rd Street Line will play a vital role once the Second Av Subway is completed. The double-decked Lexington Av – 63 St Station will allow cross-platform interchange between the Q and F (trains). As part of the Second Av Subway project, the station is being renovated to remove the walls on the platforms and open a new entrance on the Third Avenue side of the station. East-bound trains to Queens (and later Upper Manhattan) will use the lower level; south-bound trains to Midtown and Lower Manhattan will use the upper level.

The 63rd Street Tube is also the linchpin of the East Side Access Project and while one level supports Queens Boulevard Line subway trains, the second level was designed and built for Long Island Rail Road operation and in the future will serve trains traveling between Queens and a new LIRR Terminal at Grand Central.

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