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Exclusive: Ground Breaking For 2nd Avenue Subway Line Weeks Away

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TWC News: Exclusive: Ground Breaking For 2nd Avenue Subway Line Weeks Away
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One of the most anticipated projects in city history is about to get off the ground. In the following exclusive report, NY1 Transit reporter Bobby Cuza explains that the MTA has selected contractors to dig the Second Avenue subway, and ground breaking is now just weeks away.

Plans for a Second Avenue subway line have been around so long — the tunnel segments were actually built in the 70s, before funding problems forced the project back on the shelf — and now, tunneling work is about to start again.

MTA officials say that in a few weeks, they will award a $333 million contract to build what they call Phase One.

"This is real now, and it is happening,” said Mysore Nagaraja of the MTA Capital Construction Corporation. “And we are excited about it."

The line that will eventually be known as the T will be simply an extension of the Q train, at first, running from 63rd Street to 96th Street.

A consortium of three American companies submitted the winning bid for construction work: Skanska USA Civil, Schiavone Construction, and J.F. Shea Construction. They will be formally awarded the contract after a two-to-four-week vetting process.

Then construction work will begin between 96th and 92nd Streets, where a tunnel boring machine will begin drilling the new tunnels.

"We are going to be taking two to three lanes for construction,” said Nagaraja. “And we have to relocate all the utilities there first. And once the utilities are relocated, then we have to make this hole, which is about 60 - 70 feet deep. That is when the machine can be dropped in there and [we can] start assembling the machine."

Residents of the Upper East Side can expect to see construction activity not much more than a month from now.

"They've got to put up trailers, and they've got to start work,” added Nagaraja. “And I'm assuming sometime in early March we'll see some construction."

Eventually, the Second Avenue subway will run all the way from 125th Street in East Harlem down to Hanover Square in the Financial District. But that's many, many years away. Phase One of the project alone is expected to take until the year 2013 to complete.

- Bobby Cuza
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