Over the weekend, Rep. Carolyn Maloney handed down her second annual report card on the Second Avenue subway project, giving it a "B" grade, which is a slight improvement from last year's B-minus. At a press conference over the weekend, Rep. Carolyn Maloney held up a $275 million federal check for the project and told the press, "Real progress has been made on the Second Avenue Subway this year—with the subway’s tunnel boring machine literally moving closer to the finish line with each passing hour." But the Sisyphean project continues to go over-budget and make a mockery of target dates.
The Federal Transit Administration estimates that the first phase, between East 96th and 63rd streets, will cost $420 million more than the MTA's $4.5 billion price tag, and won't be completed for more than two years past the agency's 2016 target date, the Post reports. "The construction is taking a toll on local businesses and residents," Councilman Dan Garodnick says, "and the longer it lasts, the greater that impact will be—which is why this project must be completed without any further delay." Time to break out the Cliff Notes and pull some all-nighters, MTA!
The report card also blamed the MTA for failing to anticipate that many "older buildings along Second Avenue are in poor repair, and they were forced to temporarily relocate residents while buildings were stabilized. This may not have delayed the project, but it was an unexpected cost. The MTA also discovered that utilities often were not located where they were expected to be, and this reportedly slowed progress and caused costs to rise. It was well-known ahead of time that pipes and utilities laid decades ago are not always where they are expected to be and that many of the buildings along Second Avenue are old."