Trump inexplicably offers help with Second Avenue Subway extension, with no plan in place

August 26, 2019

Photo via jseliger2 on Flickr

President Donald Trump offered to help complete the second phase of the Second Avenue Subway in a tweet on Saturday, surprising New York officials who said no agreement had been reached. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is still seeking federal funding for phase two, which extends the Q line from its terminus at 96th Street north to 125th Street in East Harlem and is estimated to cost $6 billion.

“Looking forward to helping New York City and Governor @andrewcuomo complete the long anticipated, and partially built, Second Avenue Subway,” Trump tweeted from the G-7 summit in France. “Would be extended to East 125th Street in Harlem. Long in the making, they now have the team that can get it done!”

While Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s communications director, Dani Lever, said the governor is in talks with the administration over funding major infrastructure projects, there is no update regarding the Second Avenue Subway.

“The president’s tweet suggests good news but we have no specific funding or approval and that is all that is relevant,” Lever said in a statement. “If an agreement actually materializes, we will provide an update.”

According to the New York Post, the MTA allocated $535 million in its budget this year for design and preliminary construction, with an additional $1.2 billion set aside. In April, the agency requested $2 billion from the Trump administration for the project.

The first phase of the Second Avenue Subway opened in 2017, nearly 100 years after plans were approved. It cost more than $5 billion to construct three miles of track.

As 6sqft learned last year, MTA officials have estimated that the second phase, which includes the addition of three new stations at 106th and Second Avenue, 116th Street and Second Avenue, and 125th Street and Lexington Avenue, won’t be completed until 2029. And that’s only if work begins as planned this year.


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