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amNew York reveals that the MTA will sign a construction contract for the Second Avenue Subway on March 29. We can't believe that the MTA is actually signing a contract - it's only been about four years since the first of the recent-Second-Avenue Subway public hearings! Heck, the Second Avenue Subway was a cover story for New York in 2004.

The MTA hopes to have a groundbreaking ceremony in late April or early May that will symbolically kick off the first phase of the forever-back-burnered project. Upper East Siders, you better brace yourselves: Two lanes of Second Avenue will be closed between 96th and 92nd Streets to relocate utilities. And then there will be the monumental day when the tunnel boring machine near the end of the year (or in early 2008) is lowered in at 93rd Street.

Here's the timeline:

2007-13: Phase 1: Three new stations, 96th, 86th and 72nd streets, with connection to Q station at 63rd Street
2014-18: Phase 2: 125th Street to 96th Street
2015-18: Phase 3: 63rd Street to Houston Street
2017-20: Phase 4: Houston Street to Hanover Square

Add at least a year or three to each end date and you'll get a more accurate sense of when things will open.

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Are you excited this project is finally getting off the ground? And when we saw these renderings of what stations and platforms will look like on the T line, it all looks so hopeful...and clean. Serene in a sterile way. Then we realized that there are absolutely no advertisements anywhere.