Rep. Maloney Releases Report Card Grading MTA’s Progress on Second Avenue Subway

Jul 29, 2013
Press Release

New York, NY – In recognition of the MTA reaching the halfway mark in building Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) issued a report card -- the fourth in a series -- to take stock of the MTA’s progress.  Maloney was joined by elected officials on the corner of 72nd Street and 2nd Avenue, where a muck house for the removal of blasting debris has recently been dismantled.  The MTA has completed all tunnel boring, awarded all ten of the contracts for the project, completed most of the blasting, begun dismantling muck houses and has remained on time and on budget for four straight years.  In recognition of the significant progress to date, the MTA earns an overall B+, up from a B on the last report card released in 2011.

Since the project’s inception, Congresswoman Maloney has been an ardent supporter of the Second Avenue Subway and was instrumental in securing the $1.3 billion in federal funding for Phase I, and all but $16.8 million has already been appropriated.  Phase I work includes utility relocation, blasting and excavation of stations, tunnel boring and construction of platforms, station entrances and ancillary facilities between 63rd and 96th Streets.  This critical infrastructure investment has provided needed help to the struggling construction industry in New York and it will continue to bring great economic benefits and improve the ridership experience for commuters.  The report recommends improvement of the MTA’s communication with the community, better planning and a stronger effort to mitigate construction impacts.

“Overall, the project gets a B+.  The project’s merit, its economic benefits, the MTA’s outreach efforts and the pace at which construction is being completed all get high marks.  There are good reasons to award a lot of high grades, but there is still room for improvement.  When the MTA broke ground for the Second Avenue Subway in April 2007, there were a lot of skeptics, but with the progress of the last six years, the skeptics are starting to have to eat their words.  In fact, we have now crossed the halfway point for Second Avenue Subway construction. I encourage the MTA to continue its progress and to keep engaging the public, as the project continues. When it is completed, the Second Avenue Subway will provide much-needed transit relief for commuters, who deserve a more comfortable and more efficient ride,” said Congresswoman Maloney.

“It is critically important that progress continue on the Second Avenue subway,” said New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.  “East Side residents have long been forced to endure limited access to subways and this project will bring an immediate improvement to the lives of so many New Yorkers. As a longtime supporter of the Second Avenue subway, I look forward to the day when it reaches my Lower East Side community. I want to thank Congress Member Maloney, whose advocacy has been critical in keeping this project moving forward.”

"The Second Avenue Subway is a critical addition to the transportation infrastructure on the East Side. I applaud Congresswoman Maloney's efforts to ensure construction progresses in a way that is mindful of the needs of the surrounding neighborhoods. I urge the MTA to take the Congresswoman's recommendations seriously and to commit to the completion of the full Second Avenue Subway," said Assembly Member Dan Quart.

"Once the Second Avenue subway is completed, it will be a game-changer for Manhattan and our entire city. I've worked with Congresswoman Maloney to mitigate the effects of construction by getting the MTA to post air quality monitoring data, and launching the Shop 2nd Ave campaign. Now we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel, and the Second Ave subway is on track to becoming a reality," said Council Member Jessica Lappin.

“Once completed, the Second Avenue Subway will be a vital component of our City’s transit system and a boon to the Upper East Side’s local economy,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. “It is encouraging that the first phase of the project is now halfway complete, but there is still much work to be done and the MTA must continue to be mindful of - and help mitigate - the serious construction impacts on neighborhood residents and businesses. I applaud Congresswoman Maloney for her continued commitment to both monitor and advocate for this important infrastructure project.”


The Second Avenue Subway construction has been divided into four phases.  Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway project includes 2.3 miles of new track, three new accessible subway entrances at 96th Street, 86th Street and 72nd Street, new connections to the existing 63rd Street station, 11 station entrances, 6 ancillary buildings, a ventilation shaft and a cooling tower structure.  After the completion of all four phases, the Second Avenue Subway will provide a one-seat ride from the Upper East Side to Times Square, lower Manhattan, and Brooklyn.  The first phase of the subway will carry more than 200,000 riders each day and ease congestion on the most overcrowded subway routes in the nation: the 4, 5, and 6 Lexington Avenue IRT trains on Manhattan's East Side.  

The federal government entered into a full funding grant agreement with the MTA pursuant to which it is providing $1.3 billion of the $4.451 billion project.  Only a de minimis amount ($16.8 million of the $1.3 billion) has not yet been appropriated.  The MTA’s 2010-2014 Capital Plan includes all of the state funding needed for the first phase of the project.   Phase I is expected to be completed by December 2016.  The MTA recently announced it has reached the halfway mark to completion. All ten of the Phase I contracts have been awarded and two have been completed.  The 86th Street Station Utilities Relocation contract was completed in November 2011 and the TBM Tunneling Contract was completed in March 2012.  In addition, they expect that the first 96th Street Station Site Work and Heavy Civil contract will be completed by September this year.

A copy of the full Maloney Second Avenue Subway report is viewable here. (pdf)