Fed Funding Guarantees A Second Ave. Subway
The first major expansion of the New York City subway system in 70 years was guaranteed last week when the federal government delivered $1.3 billiion to city officials for construction of the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway.
The initial segment will run north from 63rd Street to 105th Street, carry 213,000 riders daily and relieve congestion and overcrowing on the Lexington Avenue line when completed by 2013. Total cost for the project is $3.8 billion.
Ground was broken for the huge project last April and construction is visibly underway.
United States Senator Charles Schumer and Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, both of whom played a major role over the past decade in getting approval of the longawaited project, hailed the latest funding.
"This historic agreement puts this vital and long-overdue project right on track, but with this significant federal investment and commitment there is now finally light at the end of the tunnel," Schumer said.
Maloney, in whose district the new transit line will be located, declared: "Once a dream deferred, the Second Avenue Subway is now inevitable. The full-funding grant agreement is a done deal, construction contracts are being signed and the spades are literally in the ground.
"It took a cast of thousands to get the subway back on track, but millions in our city and state will benefit from the effort."
The announcement of the huge grant was made by Governor Eliot Spitzer and James Simpson, administrator for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The governor said the funds will allow the expansion of North America's largest public transportation system to meet anticipated population growth and increased demand for transit service.
Present for the major announcement, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the important project will add to the city's economic growth and quality of life by getting more people out of their cars and onto public transportation.- John Toscano