The MTA is moving ahead with plans for the next phase of the Second Avenue subway.
Officials said Monday that they have formally asked the federal government to cover a third of the project's massive cost.
"The future of this project lays in Washington," said Tim Gianfrancesco, the program executive for the Second Avenue subway.
The work would extend the Second Avenue line north from 96th Street, where it now ends, to 125th Street and Lexington Avenue, with new stations at 106th, 116th, and 125th Streets.
Sections of the line, from 110th to 120th Streets, were built in the 1970s, but the work was halted in 1975 because of the city's financial crisis.
In December, the MTA gave NY1 a tour of those completed sections, which are inspected every two to three months.
MTA officials said Monday they hope to shave about a billion dollars from the project's projected $6 billion cost.
For example, one of the sections already built, initially intended for trains needing repair work, would be used as platform for the 116th Street station.
"We're trying to simplify, de-customize, use off the shelf, and just generally reduce scope," said Janno Lieber, the MTA's chief development officer.
The MTA now projects the cost savings could avoid the need to excavate 10,000 truckloads of debris.
"We have a long way to go with cost containment and we want to get that cost down further," Gianfrancesco said.
Phase One of the Second Avenue line, from 63rd to 96th Streets, opened in 2017 at a cost of nearly $4.5 billion. The goal is for Phase Two to be completed in 10 years.
Commuters are excited about the possibility.
"That would be a good thing because a lot of people who depend on it to go uptown, it's a little bit frustrating to go up two blocks to Lexington and go on the local line," one woman said.
"I hope they do it as soon as possible. It's way overdue," another commuter said.
MTA Board Member Andrew Albert agrees. "We really need to get it built and hopefully it will not take as long as they're anticipating," he said.
As one MTA board member put it, the more that the agency can bring down the cost and schedule, the more likely it is that it will receive the federal funding it needs to make the Second Avenue subway at 125th Street a reality.
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