Rep. Maloney statement on 2nd Ave. Subway tunnel completion

Sep 22, 2011
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) issued the following statement today upon the completion of tunneling required for the first phase of the long-awaited Second Avenue Subway project.  A tunnel-boring machine excavating the second -and last- of the project’s two tunnels broke through to existing tunnel at the Lexington Avenue/63rd Street station at approximately 11:00am today.

When completed, the first phase of the subway will offer Q-train service running from 96th Street on the Upper East Side, linking to existing lines at the 63rd and Lexington station.  The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) projects that the subway’s first phase will be completed in December 2016.

“This is a breakthrough not just for the construction of the Second Avenue Subway, but for our mass transit system as a whole,” said Congresswoman Maloney.  “The Second Avenue Subway is on track for completion and is creating thousands of jobs literally beneath our feet, at a time when we really need them.  I congratulate the MTA on this achievement and I look forward to working with them to ensure that the subway project is completed by 2016.”

The MTA will still have to complete station entrances, ancillary buildings, and track preparation.

Background

In June, the Federal Transit Administration announced that $197 million in funding for the Second Avenue Subway will be coming to the MTA this year as part of the Full Funding Grant Agreement governing the project.

In May, Maloney called on Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff to preserve the funding originally proposed for the Second Avenue Subway this year, calling the project “vital to the New York City region's $1.26 trillion economy, the second-largest regional economy in the world.”  Click here for more on Maloney’s letter to Rogoff.

In 2009, Maloney issued a report outlining the jobs and other economic benefits created by the construction of the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access transit projects.  Both projects are located almost entirely within Maloney’s congressional district.  Maloney’s report found that the Second Avenue Subway will create more than 16,000 jobs and add $4.347 billion to the region’s economy during construction.  Please click here for a copy of Maloney’s report.

In November 2007, the Federal Transit Administration and the MTA signed a full-funding grant agreement for the Second Avenue Subway, which will provide $1.3 billion in federal funds to build the subway’s first leg.

Full-funding grant agreements are commitments by the federal government to provide a total amount of funding, delivered in installments, over the life of a project.

In the mid-1990s, Rep. Maloney began a campaign to resuscitate the Second Avenue Subway after the project had lain dormant for decades.

The full-length Second Avenue Subway will be an 8 ½ mile, two-track line beginning at 125th street and ending in Hanover Square in lower Manhattan.  The subway’s first segment will include stops at 96th, 86th and 72nd Streets, and tunnels from 99th to 62nd Streets. At 63rd Street, the new subway line will link onto the existing Q-line tracks, providing a one-seat ride from the Upper East Side to Times Square, Wall Street, and Brooklyn.  Construction of the full-length subway has been divided into four phases.  Once completed, the first subway phase will carry more than 200,000 riders each day and relieve massive congestion on the most overcrowded subway routes in the nation: the 4, 5, and 6 Lexington Avenue IRT trains on Manhattan's East Side.