Hochul promises to resume NYC’s Second Avenue subway expansion

Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday promised to get the next phase of the Second Avenue Subway underway in 2022 – and called on the Biden administration to approve the MTA’s application for federal funding after years of delaying government officials questioning the administration of former President Donald Trump.

“We are ready to go,” Hochul told reporters after a brief tour with acting MTA chairman Janno Lieber in a half-century-old tunnel that has stood unused since the MTA abandoned its first attempt at the project in the mid-1970s. erne.

“We still need to get the approvals,” she said. “Our application is in. We are ready. If we get the approval in 2022, we are ready to go.”

Democrats in Washington including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have promised to fund the project using money from the recent two-part infrastructure package. But the Biden administration has not approved MTA’s grant application, which has been in limbo since the 2018 submission.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks
New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks with MTA management and elected officials following a tour of the Second Avenue Tunnel Project on the East Side of Manhattan on November 23, 2021.
Robert Miller
Governor Kathy Hochul emerges from an emergency exit hatch after visiting the site of the Second Avenue Subway extension
Governor Kathy Hochul emerges from an emergency exit hatch after a tour of the Second Avenue Subway extension.
Kevin P. Coughlin / Governor’s Office

Disgraceful ex-gov. Andrew Cuomo christened the Q train extension up to 96th Street in 2017 after 10 years of construction. The project was the most expensive subway ever at a cost of $ 4.45 billion for the 1.8 mile tunnel. The next $ 6.29 billion phase will add stops at 106th Street, 116th Street and 125th Street using 16 blocks of outgoing tunnels built in the last century.

Hochul said the first three new stops served 200,000 riders before COVID and provided the local economy on the Upper East Side, and that the next phase would create a similar blessing for East Harlem. Official prediction that the next phase will serve 123,000 daily riders.

“This is the most transit-dependent community in New York City,” she said. “The goal is to ensure that all Harlemitters have what we call access and transportation equity.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul joins the MTA leadership and elected officials in the Second Avenue Tunnel Project
Construction of the Second Avenue subway extension could resume after work stopped nearly fifty years ago due to lack of funding.
John Lamparski / NurPhoto / Shutterstock
New York Governor Kathy Hochul along with MTA management and elected officials tour the Second Avenue Tunnel Project on the East Side of Manhattan on November 23, 2021 in New York City, USA
The multi-billion dollar project will involve the reconstruction of the existing station, the construction of a new station and the renovation of parts of the line.
John Lamparski / NurPhoto / Shutterstock

Trump repeatedly voted his support for the efforts in the second phase, but his administration refused to give it the green light. MTA officials have not set a timeline for moving forward. Hochul said costs are rising every day the federal government fails to approve the funding.

“They know this is an urgent priority for us,” Hochul said of the Biden administration. “Lost time means more money. If this had started in 2019, if the Trump administration had not delayed it, if the money had been there … it would have cost less.”

Lieber testified before state House members earlier Tuesday, saying the MTA had fallen 18 months behind with its $ 55 billion capital program, but was working to get up to speed.

He said the transportation authority hopes to have all contracts worth $ 55 billion awarded by the end of the five-year period.

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