There is still more to “Second Ave. subway faces several hurdles” (July 10) which the MTA and Congress member Carolyn Maloney conveniently overlooked. The MTA’s $14.1 billion shortfall in the proposed $32 billion 2015-2019 Capital Program could delay the next construction phase.
The original start of construction took place at 103rd Street and Second Avenue in 1972. Work was completed between Chatham Square and Canal Street, 99th and 105th streets and 110th to 120th streets. The federal government has considered this work part of an active ongoing project. If the MTA does not proceed with future phases of the Second Avenue subway, Washington may ask for its money back for these unusedtunnels. The MTA could owe the federal government millions.
The original $1.3 billion of federal funding remains unchanged, with the MTA having to cover $1 billion in cost overruns as the overall project cost went from $4.5 to $5.5 billion.
It will take decades and $20 billion for completion of the next three segments north to 125th Street and south downtown to the Financial District. There is no guarantee that $1.4 billion will be available to build the second segment north from 96th Street to 125th Street.
Canceling construction for the next phase also means giving up over $500 million in potential federal transportation New Starts funding. Without providing local matching dollars, the MTA forfeits the opportunity to leverage these dollars for additional federal funds.
The Second Avenue subway has been reduced to two tracks. In an attempt to save costs, a third center express track was deleted. This saved having to construct a third tunnel for $1 billion. The scope of the work was to replace six tracks worth of elevated subways on Second and Third avenues (both lines had center express tracks).