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New MTA head backs off No. 7 extension plan

However, he said the project has not been sidelined."It is the MTA's position that we are under no legal obligation to absorb any additional costs or overruns," Elliot "Lee" Sander, chief executive officer of the MTA wrote to state Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester). Brodsky had suggested that the No. 7 extension might well bring overruns. Sander told The New York Times "at this point our position is that if there are cost overruns, we're not in a financial position to be able to assume those," adding that paying for cost overruns on the No. 7 extension could weaken financing for the MTA's other mega projects, including the East Side Access to bring Long Island Rail Road trains into Grand Central Terminal and the Second Avenue subway. Sanders said later the project has not been officially called off or even delayed as yet. According to Brodsky, the cost of the project could reach as much as $3.1 billion because of rapidly increasing costs of construction. Some estimates are that such costs have been going up by as much as 1 percent a month. Expenses for the project would also involve new rail cars. The No. 7 extension, which was not part of the MTA's capital plan, originally involved a new subway station at 10th Avenue and 41st Street but with estimates that the station could cost $250 million, it was decided to delay that project. Plans called for extending the No. 7 line westward from Times Square to a new station at 11th Avenue and 34th Street and to the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Originally, construction had been expected to begin this summer. The administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg contends that the No. 7 extension is essential to development of the far west side of Manhattan.Reach reporter Phil Newman by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 136.

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