At the October 27th meeting of the NYCTRC Michael Horodniceanu, President of the MTA Capital Construction Company (CCC), made a presentation on the status of the Mega projects: Fulton Street Transit Center, the 7 line extension, 2nd Avenue Subway and East Side Access (ESA).
The Fulton Street Transit Center is scheduled to be finished June 2014 at a cost of $1.4 billion. Horodniceanu said that the aim here is to create a great public space with architecture, technology, amenities and access to 11 subway lines, the World Trade Center site, PATH trains, the World Financial Center and ferries.
The No. 7 subway extension is 1.5 miles long from Times Square to a new station at 34th Street and 11th Avenue. It’s budget is $2.15 billion (paid for by New York City) and is scheduled for completion in December 2013. This new service will support an emerging mixed-use community on the westside of Mid-Manhattan (Hudson Yards) which is one of the most underserved and underdeveloped areas of the city.
The Second Avenue Subway project, Phase 1 from 96th Street to 63rd Street, has a budget of $4.451 billion and is due to be completed December 2016. Phase 1 represents 8.5 new route miles, 16 new stations and will link to the existing Q line. The benefits of this project will be the reduction of overcrowding and delays on the Lexington Avenue line. Unfortunately, there have been community impacts that raised concerns: noise, dust, odeors, impacts on exisiting businesses and the presence of the large “muck houses” built on the street.
The fourth major project of CCC is the creation of East Side Access (ESA). This initiative will provide the LIRR with another approach to Manhattan through the Queens 63rd Street tunnel under the East River and south to a new station below Grand Central Terminal. This is the first expansion of the LIRR in over 100 years and will increase the East River tunnel capacity by over 50%. It is estimated that this new connection will save East Side-bound commuters 30 to 40 minutes per day.
Horodniceanu concluded by warning that only the first two years of the MTA’s 2010-2014 Capital Program is funded. The East Side Access and Second Avenue Subway projects need $3.467 billion for 2012-2014 to complete the job.