MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast is hoping to squash rumors that the Second Avenue Subway (SAS) will miss its December opening date. As Prendergast told the Times on Friday, “[we want to show riders] we live up to our promises” and that they are “now within striking distance of having it done.” The chairman’s remarks incidentally coincide with some newly unearthed information from the Daily News, who also reported Friday that the agency spent a week shaving down parts of the new subway tunnel wall because 75-foot train cars couldn’t fully clear curves.
The tunnel issue, however, is much lower on the agency’s list of concerns (as the SAS will ultimately use sleeker 60-foot trains and 75-footers would only be used to move equipment through) when compared to the all the testing that still needs to be done on the fire alarm system, signals, escalators and elevators. Kent Haggas, an independent engineer for the project, told the paper that as of September, about 300 tests were still needed and “workers had to speed up the rate at which they were finishing them.”
As 6sqft reported last month, many of these tests are related to the 72nd Street station. As such, having the line temporarily bypass the 72nd Street has not been ruled out by the MTA. Prendergast, however, adds that it’s still too early to even consider skipping a station, and that MTA’s main focus is delivering everything on time. “We haven’t given up on anything at this point,” he said.
Construction workers also appear to be as optimistic at Prendergast. The Times shared some local gossip via resident Bambi Kapp, who has been checking in with workers over the course of project. Some have told her the December opening date is still on, while a handful of others are saying February is more likely. Both dates, however, are pretty promising when you consider that this line has been in the works for nearly a century.
If the project does adhere to its timeline, before the year’s end, New Yorkers will be able to swipe their transit cards in stations at East 72nd, 86th and 96th streets, along a nearly two-mile extension of the Q line.
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