Nearly 100 years later, the Second Avenue Subway officially opens!

Posted On Sun, January 1, 2017 By

Posted On Sun, January 1, 2017 By In Features, Transportation, Upper East Side

Today history is made, as January 1, 2017 marks the official public opening of the long-awaited Second Avenue Subway. The New York City transit endeavor has been in the works for nearly a century, and finally after countless delays and an eye-popping $4 billion bill, straphangers on the far Upper East Side will have access to three brand new stations at 72nd, 86th and 96th Streets.

Just before midnight yesterday evening, Governor Cuomo, MTA CEO Thomas F. Prendergast, city and state pols, members of President Obama’s Cabinet, local community members, and many of the workers who helped build the new line’s massive underground tunnels and stations, took the line’s inaugural ride.

second-avenue-subway-opening-2017

second-avenue-subway-opening-2017-21

second-avenue-subway-opening-2017-8

The ride took nearly an hour with celebratory stops at each of the new stations. Guests also had the opportunity to take in the $4.5 million worth of tiled public art from Chuck Close, Sarah Sze, Vik Muniz, and Jean Shin adorning the stations.

At the event, Cuomo touted the “on-time arrival” of the subway, and what is the system’s first major expansion in more than 50 years. The project was, in fact, first discussed in 1919 as part of a massive expansion of what would become the Independent Subway System, but the Great Depression halted plans. Indeed, budgetary shortfalls would become a hallmark of the Second Avenue Subway, as the project would be kicked up and then squashed over the decades as the city fell in and out of fiscal crises. Not until 2007 would we see the development of a financially secure construction plan (largely supported by bonds) that would lead to the opening of the first phase today.

second-avenue-subway-opening-2017-26

second-avenue-subway-opening-2017-6

In many ways, the governor is using the on-time opening of the line as a benchmark for the other infrastructure overhauls he unveiled this year. “We needed to show people that government works and we can still do big things and great things and we can still get them done,” he said at the inaugural event. “Not just for the MTA, but we have airports that we have to build at the La Guardia and JFK. We have a new Penn Station that we have to build. We have roads and bridges that we have to build. We have a new convention center that we have to build. And it’s not just what we have to build—we’re New York. We shouldn’t settle for second best on anything.”

Cuomo also applauded those who worked on the planning and the construction of the new line, “They really, really made a superhuman effort to get this done on time.”

second-avenue-subway-opening-2017-4

As far as constructing the Second Avenue Subway’s remaining 13 stations go, no timeline has been unveiled, but the MTA estimates the second phase—an additional three stations at 106th, 116th and 125th Streets—will cost about $6 billion. The city is said to be mulling ways to reduce this estimate and speed up construction. “We always do a looking-back exercise to see could we have done something better,” MTA Chairment Thomas F. Prendergast told the Journal.

Until then, New Yorkers will at the very least have three sparkling new stations to enjoy.

From January 2 until January 8, service on the Second Avenue Subway will begin at 6 a.m. and run until 10 p.m. Then, starting on Jan. 9, service will operate around-the-clock. Trains will run every six minutes during peak hours.

***

“By the numbers,” as shared by the MTA:

  • Workers excavated 583,600 cubic yards of rock & 460,300 cubic yards of soil (more than half the Empire State Building by volume)
  • Cubic yards of concrete used in construction: 261,038
  • Pounds of rebar used in construction: 48.9 million
  • Pounds of structural steel used in construction: 40.7 million
  • The new line features 35 new escalators, 12 new elevators, and 22 new stairways
  • The new line features 200,000 square feet of floor tiles, 130,000 square feet of ceiling tiles, and 692,000 square feet of wall tiles
  • Number of doors: 1,014
  • Number of light fixtures: 10,264
  • Number of floor drains: 712
  • Number of plumbing and bathroom fixtures: 264

Images and video courtesy of Gov. Cuomo’s office

RELATED:

Tags : , , ,

Neighborhoods : Upper East Side

MOST RECENT ARTICLES

  • Dreamy furnished studio with lots of greenery asks $3,200/month in the East Village

    Dreamy furnished studio with lots of greenery asks $3,200/month in the East Village

    This furnished rental at 527 East 12th Street in the East Village is downright dreamy. The exposed brick has been painted white ...
  • National Academy’s trio of palatial UES buildings drops price to $79M, gets new pics

    National Academy’s trio of palatial UES buildings drops price to $79M, gets new pics

    Nearly a year ago, the National Academy Museum & School listed their three stunning Carnegie Hill properties for $120 million–two interconnected townhouses ...
  • 204 years ago today, the Manhattan Street Grid became official

    204 years ago today, the Manhattan Street Grid became official

    Photo courtesy of the Greenwich Village Society of Historical Preservation Deemed by historians as the “single most important document in ...
  • Law assigning hundreds of NYC spots to car-shares now in effect

    Law assigning hundreds of NYC spots to car-shares now in effect

    Signed into law Tuesday, the program dedicates 600 vehicle spaces—300 on-street and 300 off-street—throughout the five boroughs to companies such ...
  • French bulldog keeps title of NYC’s favorite breed; first Citywide Ferry boat enroute to New York

    French bulldog keeps title of NYC’s favorite breed; first Citywide Ferry boat enroute to New York

    Why Robert Moses just won’t go away. [NYT] For the third year in a row, NYC’s most popular dog breed ...
  • Comptroller Scott Stringer lays out plan for NYC to invest in its seniors

    Comptroller Scott Stringer lays out plan for NYC to invest in its seniors

    Like many cities across the country, New York City’s population is getting older. Today, more than 1.1 million adults over ...
  • Remembering New York City’s days of deadly smog

    Remembering New York City’s days of deadly smog

    Smog covering the Empire State Building. New York, NY, US, November 21, 1953, LIFE Magazine. Over Thanksgiving weekend in 1966, the ...
  • Rent in the Greenwich Village building where Alexander Hamilton purportedly spent his final day

    Rent in the Greenwich Village building where Alexander Hamilton purportedly spent his final day

    Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr may have dueled in Weehawken, New Jersey, but they also both left their mark on ...
  • 82 billionaires live in NYC, the most in the world

    82 billionaires live in NYC, the most in the world

    For the second year in a row, New York takes the title of the city with the most billionaires in ...
  • $800K co-op is a Zen paradise in Brooklyn Heights inspired by the Botanic Gardens

    $800K co-op is a Zen paradise in Brooklyn Heights inspired by the Botanic Gardens

    It’s not every day a New York City apartment listing invites us to “Sleep safely and quietly with your doors wide ...
  • Kushner Cos. vision for 666 Fifth Avenue has Zaha Hadid design and $12B ambitions

    Kushner Cos. vision for 666 Fifth Avenue has Zaha Hadid design and $12B ambitions

    A rendering of 666 Fifth Avenue. Credit: Kushner Companies/Zaha Hadid Architects As 6sqft previously reported, 666 Fifth Avenue owners Kushner ...
  • Peter Kostelov transforms a dark uptown apartment into a multifunctional home with sliding furniture

    Peter Kostelov transforms a dark uptown apartment into a multifunctional home with sliding furniture

    Living in cramped New York quarters requires a specific approach to spatial planning that favors efficiency and functionality. In this ...

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.