Each day more than 5 million commuters ride the 209 mile-long subway lines. But in a city as wide as New York, 209 miles is far from being enough. Hence the project for the new 2nd Ave subway track, that will add 8.5 miles. Even if it appears to be a drop in the water the addition will tremendously relieve the 4,5,6 lines.
Actually, the 2nd Ave subway has been planned and been under some construction projects ever since 1929, which resulted in it being nicknamed “The Line That Time Forgot.” It was in 2007 that phase 1 finally started. Today, four phases are planned, stretching from Hanover Square to 125th street. Phase one is to cover the most needed part: the Upper East Side, aka the pain-in-the-ass-almost-subway-free-commute. In spite of it being one of the most wealthy neighborhood in New York, not all of its workers or dwellers can afford a taxi-ride instead of the underground world.
If, for most riders, this comes as good news, for the current residents that live between 63rd and 96th street - phase 1 - it is quite the contrary. Until 2016, phase 1’s expected due-date, the East Side will no longer be the quietest neighborhood in town. 90% of the constructions will be performed by a tunnel boring machine, which promises to be noisy for Casa 74, or Isis - two high-scale apartment buildings located right on 2nd avenue.
What will be most challenging is that some parts like the 86th or 72nd street stations will be mined. Definitely not an easy task seen the number of high-rise on top of it. With all these exciting bombing and boring, Upper-East-Siders will get a real taste of what it is to live in the city-that-never-sleep. But since one man’s loss is another man’s gain, that will make the big days of earplug sellers.
Now for anyone interested in knowing more about the subway-to-be, the new Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center (CIC) has opened at the beginning of the summer. Located between 84th and 85th street, it is both a place where residents can discuss with project staffs as well as an educational facility where everyone can learn about what it’s like to build such a complex urban transportation project. The information center also feature interactive exhibits with up-to-date reports. Dan Garodnick, the City Councilman explained that the current exhibit was meant “To actually see how you get there from here.” He went on commenting, “I think that people will be very impressed with this exhibition and I encourage them to come take a look.”
Even though the constructions might come as a hindrance to the 2nd Ave shops, the Chamber of Commerce has used much imagination to try and counteract that as they launched a “Shop 2nd Avenue... It’s Worth It” campaign. Plus, the wait till 2016 will also be worth it. It will not only bring more shoppers in, but it will also increase the value of real-estate around the avenue - more wealthy shoppers then! If you’re looking to buy an apartment anytime soon, now is definitely the time to consider 2nd Ave before prices start to rocket.
The only unknown is when all four phases will be over. Since no funding commitment have been done yet, there is no available information on that, not even when phase 2 or 3 will start. Hopefully it won’t take another century to see the light - so to speak.