MTA: 7 Line Extension to Open Up Before End of Third Quarter
Riders of the 7 train are all too familiar with delays. Now they are waiting on a new station. NY1's Jose Martinez filed this report.
An extension of the 7 train to 34th Street and 11th avenue is inching toward completion, or so the Metropolitan Transportation Authority says.
"I can't wait until it opens up," said one woman NY1 spoke with. "When is it gonna open?"
That's one date the MTA won't pinpoint, saying only that it hopes to open the one-station extension in the third quarter of 2015, which means anytime from July 1 to September 30.
That's more than 18 months after Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a rolling photo-op just weeks before leaving office, riding the entire $2.4 billion extension, from Times Square to the new station on the far west side.
The local Councilman expressed disgust with the delays at a recent hearing.
"It doesn't inspire confidence of the city putting money into these projects if they're not going to get done in time," said Corey Johnson.
Tunneling for the 7,000 foot line began six years ago and has long been completed.
Unlike at the 2nd Avenue Subway, where members of the public have been able to take occasional glimpses at the underground construction on tours, at 34th Street/Hudson Yards the vast majority of the work has been out of public sight.
Train operators and dispatchers this month began practice runs in and out of the station, which the MTA says is 99 percent completed.
"They're learning where the signals are, they're learning where the interlockings connect, where the trackways go," said Lisberg. "They're getting out and they're walking around the station so they'll get familiar with it."
The MTA is also testing equipment, after earlier delays were blamed on the escalators and elevators in a station that's more than 10 stories deep.
"There are systems upon systems upon systems," said Lisberg. "Every single element of those has to work right in order to open a station."
Across Eleventh Avenue, officials at the Javits Center are eager for opening day.
"Right now, 35,000 companies exhibit at the Javits Center each year," said Tony Sclafani. "Now with the 7 line opening, we expect that number to increase."
Like riders in the rest of the city, they're just waiting for the trains.