New Yorkers got their first up-close look at the long-awaited Second Avenue subway line. Governor Cuomo hosted an underground open house, allowing local residents to visit one of the new stations. NY1 transit reporter Jose Martinez filed the following report.
"It's fabulous! Look at the artwork," Rep. Carolyn Maloney said.
It was a Second Avenue Subway sneak preview on Thursday at the invitation of Governor Cuomo.
"This is, as you will see, a subway station and subway system like none you have ever seen before," Cuomo said. "It has a different feel, it has a different architecture, it has a different design."
Sweeping mezzanines, wide, column-free platforms and intriguing public art - riders caught a glimpse of these features and more awaiting them when Second Avenue service begins in a little more than a week.
"It looks beautiful," one woman said. "It's so nice and the platforms so nice and big. And the Second Avenue Subway line is on the go."
Well, not just yet. Q train service officially begins at noon on New Year's Day after years of construction that tested the patience of local residents and businesses.
"It was hard, it was an ordeal," one woman said.
"I've been down here when they said it wasn't going to be built," another woman said. "I was down here for the groundbreaking. I've lived through this."
The three new stations will not have air-conditioning, but climate controls will make them 10 degrees cooler than street level during the summer.
They also have easier-to-clean porcelain panels, Wi-Fi, escalators and elevators.
Among the visitors were P.S. 290 students, whose teacher used the $4.5 billion project as a lesson for her students.
"We're on 82nd and they're building the station over there, so every single Friday for the last eight years, we've been following the construction," said Paula Rogovin, a teacherat P.S. 290.
"I think it's pretty awesome. Like, it was worth the wait time," one student said.
Nearly a century, to be exact, when planning for the line first began. Construction took nine years.
"I've been here since we started to dig down here. So I can actually pretty much tell you how incredible this is," said Michael Horodniceanu, president of MTA Capital Construction.
As the Second Avenue Subway finally gets on the map.
Two more open houses are scheduled for Friday and then there's the ceremonial ride on New Year's Eve. Come New Year's Day, no more gliding through the turnstiles.