Down to the wire, 2nd Avenue Subway requires ‘unprecedented’ work to meet December deadline

November 15, 2016

There are just seven weeks left for the MTA to wrap works on the 2nd Avenue Subway if they want to meet their December 31st deadline. According to the Times, at yesterday’s MTA board meeting, officials relayed that an “unprecedented” effort would be required in order to wrap Phase 1 of the project on time.

The story remains largely the same with delays tied to the safety testing of systems and equipment. As 6sqft reported last month, several hundred tests were still outstanding at the end of September, many of which would not be completed until November or December.

Kent Haggas, an independent engineer for the project, relayed in October that the MTA was pushing through tests at a rate of 14 per week. He added that if the agency wanted to keep their year end opening realistic, they would need to increase this to 40 per week. Moreover, workers are as we speak still installing escalators and elevators at the East 72nd and 86th street stations.

86th street entrance second avenue subway

Although testing has indeed accelerated over the last month, during yesterday’s meeting, Haggas remained grounded in his concerns. “Historically, this kind of testing has proven to be the most painstaking and time-consuming for these projects and the project’s working to see if they can get ahead of that at this point,” he said.

MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast is by comparison still hopeful and holds that it still remains too early to consider a “partial opening”—i.e. where trains would bypass incomplete stations until they are ready for patrons. But given the scope of work that remains, and the small window of time left to complete it, we know where we’d place our bets. It is the MTA after all, and delays are a given.


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