The MTA's huge East Side Access project continues to progress mostly sight. But today, when announcing the "substantial completion of two significant contracts on East Side Access," the agency included an interesting tidbit about high heel-friendly sidewalk grates.

Construction has been finished on a subterranean ventilation facility below East 55th Street in Manhattan, between Park and Madison Avenues. After detailing the infrastructure work (removing 10,000 cubic yards of rock and soil! 150 feet underground!), the MTA added, "In order to be easier to navigate for those wearing high-heeled shoes, the sidewalk 'high-heel friendly' grates are made with slip-resistant surfaces and the openings between the cross-bars are only ½ inch wide."

And this is just the beginning: MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan says these grates are being used for some of the Second Avenue Subway's ventilation, "There are some installed at 63rd Street and 96th Street as part of the Second Avenue Subway."

Fans of skinny high heels are so afraid of heel-ruining grates that there are actually plastic covers to save heels (they also work at garden parties, according to the packaging). There was even a guy who taught women, at $50 a lesson, "to master uneven sidewalks, surprise subway grates and kryptonite cobblestones that send stiletto-clad ladies flying"!

Let know know if you've tried out these subway grates.