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Signs Of Progress Seen With Second Avenue Subway Project

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TWC News: Signs Of Progress Seen On Second Avenue Subway Project
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It's still a long way from completion, but there are signs of progress on the Second Avenue subway project. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

Work on the Second Avenue subway started in 2007, and we're still more than three years from its arrival. But at the future 86th Street cavern, blasting is set to stop next month, and officials say mining in the cavern is nearly 60 percent complete.

"We are in everyone's backyard here," said MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu. "So we do need to actually be sensitive, communicate, understand, mitigate impacts when we can and get out of here as fast as we can."

Blasting at the 72nd Street station concluded in March, and soon, residents who live nearby will again be able to take a close look at the work going on beneath them.

While most New Yorkers won't be down here until the Second Avenue subway opens in 2016, MTA Capital Construction will resume offering locals-only tours of the site in September.

"How many people in the city of New York can say that they've been down where a subway has been built?" Horodniceanu said.

Upstairs, many residents have seen, and heard, enough of the work going on from 63rd to 96th Streets.

"I understand the progress and the need for the subway, but I just wish the noise and the dust could be better managed," said one person.

"Obviously, it's a bit of an eyesore and just a little bit of an inconvenience," said another person.

Businesses hidden behind the construction zone have taken big hits, too.

"The wall is affectionately called Legoland by us here at the Heidelberg Restaurant, and it's given us at least a good 30 percent reduction in business because there's no parking," said Dieter Weber of Heidelberg Restaurant.

The muck house at 86th Street is supposed to remain standing until next summer, but a taller tower at 72nd Street came down last month.

That's good news for shopkeepers, who patiently waited for that to happen.

"More people are starting to remember we're here only because the tower is down, the streets are opening, they're not as afraid to pass through," said one person.

With work going on in more than two miles of new tunnels, the pain is likely to endure until December 2016, when the Second Avenue subway opens, if it opens on time.

Got A Transit Tip?

Do you have a news tip or story idea about the city's transit systems? Send an email to NY1 Transit Reporter Jose Martinez.

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