Second Avenue Subway Construction Alters Life For Residents
Neighbors on the Upper East Side said an explosion at a Second Avenue subway construction site at 72nd Street Tuesday highlights how their quality of life has been effected by the subway construction. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
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Business owners say the noise caused by Second Avenue subway construction project makes outside dining pretty unappetizing in places.
"At least 50 percent of the business has gone down for sure," said one restaurant employee.
Others say the fencing and work blocks store fronts, walkways and parking.
"I have a car," said one resident. "It takes away a lot of parking spots."
The MTA has put up signs letting people know shops are open for business. But neighbors have to deal with loud sirens that precede the tunnel-clearing explosions, as well as rumbling from above ground.
"My wife and sit there and all of a sudden you can see the curtains shake," said one resident.
Many are concerned with the noise and air pollution. Earlier this year, NY1 saw dust flying into the air near the construction.
The MTA has made some air quality improvements by transferring debris more carefully and using filtration systems. But residents here say it's still something that's on their minds every day.
"I have a lung problem so the air is sort of important," said one. "It's just endless."
The Second Avenue line will eventually stretch from Lower Manhattan to East Harlem. The first section to open will be from 63rd to 96th streets. Construction is being done in four phases and the MTA says some disruptions in a project this size are unavoidable.
"We try to minimize it and over the last year we've been trying to do more to reach out to neighbors, to listen to neighbors' concerns, to address their concerns and to try to make this project work better for people in the neighborhood," said MTA spokesperson Adam Lisberg.
One resident called the construction a necessary evil to alleviate the overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue line.
The first of four phases from 63rd to 96th streets is set to open by 2017.