Sunday, January 1, 2017

AT LONG LAST, A SECOND AVENUE SUBWAY!

I can't top the New York Times, so please have a look at their updates on the opening of Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway on this link:

Second Avenue Subway Opens: Updates
By Emma Fitzsimmons, Emily Palmer, Noah Remnick, Daniel Slotnik and Jonathan Wolfe
The New York Times | January 1, 2017




"Introducing the Second Avenue Subway" (11:31)
Metropolitan Transportation Authority | 1/1/2017

A wonderful video that covers the history, the planning, the construction and the artwork of what is the Second Avenue Subway in New York City.



Here's a collection of notable stories, videos, and pictures from today's start of Revenue Service for Phase 1 of the project.






"New Subway Smell: Second Avenue Subway Opens On New Year's Day"
By Scott Heins | Gothamist | January 1, 2017

"The First Day in the Life of the Second Avenue Subway"
By Jen Kirby | New York Magazine | January 1, 2017



The first incident on the new line.





"Second Avenue Subway Opens" (1:41)
WNYC | January 1, 2017




Here's a listing of the recent additions
to the right-hand column of The Launch Box:

"NYC's Second Avenue Subway Set To Open After Decades Of Delays"
By Craig Melvin | TODAY | December 30, 2016

"Second Avenue Subway's Arrival Brings Fear That Rents Will Soar"
By Emma Fitzsimmons | The New York Times | December 30, 2016

"Second Avenue Subway Ringing In New Year With Party"
By Sarah Maslin | The New York Times | December 29, 2016

"A Long Wait for the Second Avenue Subway, but Worth It"
By Emma Fitzsimmons | The New York Times | December 28, 2016

"Gov. Cuomo to take inaugural ride of Second Ave. subway on New Year's Eve"
By Dan Rivoli | Daily News | December 27, 2016

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Second Avenue Local

Say hello to the New Q Train . . .
the Second Avenue/Broadway Express/Brighton Local








The full schedule is available on this download link:
Q Line Subway Timetable (PDF) | effective January 1, 2017


Q trains will operate between Coney Island-Stillwell Av, Brooklyn, and 96 St/
Second Av, Manhattan, at all times.

In Manhattan, Q service operates on Second Av stopping at 96 St, 86 St, 72 St, then Lexington Av/63 St, and 57 St/7 Av. Q service runs express on Broadway (except late nights), stopping at 42 St-Times Sq, 34 St-Herald Sq, 14 St-Union Sq, and Canal St.

Late nights, the Q runs local between 96 St and Coney Island-Stillwell Av via the Manhattan Bridge.


Second Avenue service

Starting on January 1, 2017 Q trains will run from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and every six minutes during peak hours.

Starting on Monday, January 9, 2017,  Q trains will begin operating in full service, which includes overnight service.


Notable points from the new Q Line timetable


Scheduled travel time from 96th St to . . . (at 7 am on weekdays)

   63rd St/Lexington Av | 6 mins

   58th St/7th Av | 9 mins

   34th St Herald Sq | 13 mins

   Canal St | 20 mins

   Atlantic Av (Brooklyn) | 29 mins

   Coney Island-Stillwell Av | 1 hr 4 mins


Oddly the strip map in the Q Line timetable does not list the new stations at 96th St, 86th St, and 72nd St as accessible stations. Either this is just an oversight or the new elevators are not yet ready. I guess we'll find out on January 1st.  (Update: The timetable was corrected on December 30th. The elevators were in fact working when revenue service started on January 1, 2017.)


A footnote:
As I write this posting it is hard for me to imagine that the countdown clock on this blog (which I posted here over three years ago) now says that we have just 2 days to go until the Start of Revenue Service. It really only seems like yesterday that I posted my first set of images of the construction of Second Avenue... back on April 14, 2007.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend Governor Cuomo's Ceremonial Ride on New Years Eve (I haven't been invited) or the Start of Revenue Service on January 1st (we have guests visiting).

I will post a set of images of the new stations in the next week or so and then I plan to wrap up this project with a retrospective posting that looks back at the past ten years.

I will leave Phase 2, 3 and 4 of this project to someone else.

Ben Heckscher




Here's a listing of the recent additions
to the right-hand column of The Launch Box:

"A Long Wait for the Second Avenue Subway, but Worth It"
By Emma Fitzsimmons | The New York Times | December 28, 2016

"Gov. Cuomo to take inaugural ride of Second Ave. subway on New Year's Eve"
By Dan Rivoli | Daily News | December 27, 2016

"Transit fans tour the spanking new 2nd Ave subway station before official Jan. 1 opening"
By Dan Rivoli | Daily News | December 22, 2016

"Inside the new Second Avenue Subway"
By Danielle Furfaro | NY Post | December 22, 2016

Images: 96th Street Station
Office of Gov. Cuomo | December 22, 2016

"Ghost tunnel under Central Park will reopen along with Second Avenue Subway"
By Diane Pham | 6sqft | December 22, 2016

"When Manhattan Had Elevated Trains"
By Vincent Valk | The Atlantic | December 22, 2016

"Second Avenue subway cost concerns transit experts"
By Vincent Barone | amNY | December 22, 2016

"A Brief History Of The Long-Awaited Second Avenue Subway"
By Rebecca Fishbein | Gothamist | December 21, 2016

Press Release: Second Avenue Subway to Open On-Time
Press Release from the MTA | December 19, 2016

The Art of the Second Avenue Subway
Office of Gov Cuomo | December 19, 2016

"2nd Avenue Subway Will Open on New Year’s Day, M.T.A. Says"
By Emma Fitzsimmons | The New York Times | December 19, 2016

"Art Underground: A First Look at the Second Avenue Subway"
By Emma Fitzsimmons | The New York Times | December 19, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

2ND AVE SUBWAY TO OPEN NEW YEARS DAY

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway will open to the public on Sunday, January 1st, 2017.



Here's a link to the full story:
"Gov. Cuomo promises Second Ave. subway will meet deadline, open on New Year's Day"
By Dan Rivoli, Edgar Sandoval, and Leonard Greene | Daily News | December 18, 2016






Here's a link to recent video report, with yet another tour led by Governor Cuomo, from Sunday evening.

"2nd Avenue Subway Service to Begin New Year's Day: Gov. Cuomo"
By Andrew Siff | WNBC New York | December 18, 2016




"Art Underground: A First Look at the Second Avenue Subway"
By Randy Kennedy | The New York Times | December 19, 2016

Note that this is a 360-degree video.






It's official — the MTA has confirmed that the line will open on January 1st.

"2nd Avenue Subway Will Open on New Year’s Day, M.T.A. Says"
By Emma Fitzsimmons | The New York Times | December 19, 2016



Second Avenue Subway to Open On-Time
Press Release from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority | December 19, 2016

Revenue service will begin at noon on January 1, when the first uptown Q train to Second Avenue departs from the 57-7 Av station. Trains will run every six minutes during peak hours and will run from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. for the rest of the first week. Overnight service will begin on Monday, January 9.



MTA Press Release: Governor Cuomo Presents Largest Permanent Public Art Installation in New York History Ahead of Second Avenue Subway Opening
Press Release from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority | December 19, 2016

Images: Second Avenue Subway Artwork
MTA via Flickr | December 19, 2016



Here's a listing of the recent additions
to the right-hand column of The Launch Box:

"A History of Waiting for the Second Avenue Subway"
By Christopher Bonanos | New York Magazine | 12/16/16

"24-Story Senior Living High Rise Slated for Second Avenue in 2019"
By Shaye Weaver | DNAinfo | 12/15/16

"Second Avenue Subway Won't Open Until 'All Stations' Are Finished: MTA"
By Danielle Tcholakian | DNAinfo | 12/14/16

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

CBS2: 2nd Ave Subway Tour With The Governor


CBS New York has been all over this story over the past few days. Here are three of their recent reports from Second Avenue.



"2nd Ave. Subway Construction Noise"
Reported by Magdalena Doris | WCBS-TV | 12/14/16



"CBS2 Exclusive: 2nd Ave Subway Tour With The Governor"
Reported by Marcia Kramer | WCBS-TV | 12/13/16

CBS New York reports that 2,000 people are working 24/7 to get the line open by the end of the year.

Cuomo says, "I think we could almost open tomorrow."



"Second Ave Subway Deadline Approaches"
Reported by Janelle Burrell | WCBS-TV | 12/12/16


The countdown to the end of the year deadline continues.



Here's a listing of the recent additions
to the right-hand column of The Launch Box: Long

"With Second Ave. Subway, Cuomo Has Hands-On Role and Eye on the Future" - NYT
By Emma Fitzsimmons | The New York Times | 12/13/16

"M.T.A. Races to Finish 2nd Avenue Subway as Deadline Looms"
By Emma Fitzsimmons | The New York Times | 12/12/16

"MTA: Second Avenue Subway on Track to Finish Required Systems Testing Before End of December"
By Jose Martinez | amNY | 12/12/16

Images: Gov. Cuomo Visits New 86th Street Station
Office of Governor Cuomo | 12/11/16

Images: Gov. Cuomo Visits New 72nd Street Station
Office of Governor Cuomo | 12/9/16

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Final Push

Will it open on time, or not - that is the question of the day.

I ventured out last Wednesday to have a look at the work sites along Second Avenue and what I saw was not pretty.

What I expected to see was a set of new subway entrances and ancillary buildings that were finished. Instead what I saw was an army of construction workers, supervisors, inspectors, consultants, engineers, MTA officials, and others racing to complete a project that first broke ground back in 2007.

Reliable sources have told me that Governor Cuomo has been on site three times in the past few weeks and that he is pushing the MTA very hard to get the line open by the end of 2016. Sources tell me that many contractors now have people working 24/7 -  three shifts, seven days a week.

Other reliable sources tell me that the line will open, in some form, on Friday, December 30th, 2016. (it appears now that the line will open on January 1, 2017) What this exactly means is not clear but it would seem that if there is a will (of the Governor) there must be a way. Right?

We should know for sure next week when the MTA Board of Directors holds their last meetings before the end of the year.


Update | December 10, 2016


"Governor Cuomo visits 2nd Ave Subway Station in New York City"
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo | December 9, 2016 | via Flick
(click on the photo above to view all 12 images)

Governor Andrew Cuomo toured the active 72nd Street Station work site on Friday, December 9th.

Melissa DeRosa, Governor Cuomo's Chief of Staff, said, "Governor Cuomo visits the Second Avenue subway several times a week and holds weekly meetings with the MTA and its contractors. Today was another one of those visits. The Governor believes the progress is encouraging and he's cautiously optimistic about hitting the January 1 deadline."

Oddly, the images show that the Governor was not wearing a hard hat or protective glasses during his tour of the job site.


Update | December 11, 2016


"Governor Cuomo Visit 2nd Ave Subway 86th St Station"
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo | December 11, 2016 | via Flick
(click on the photo above to view all 8 images)

Governor Cuomo drops in to tour the progress at another station.



A note about the posting that follows:
Click any of the station signs to view a map that shows the location of each new subway entrance.





12/7/2016
Upper level - looking east

This is an image of the upper level of the existing Lexington Av/63rd St station. The train arriving is a Manhattan-bound F train. On the opposite side of the platform is the track that leads to the new tunnel under Second Avenue.



12/7/2016
Upper level - looking east

A view of one of the new stairways that connect the upper and lower levels of this station.



12/7/2016
Lower level - looking east

F Line trains use the tracks on the right and Q Line trains will use the tracks on the left.


Further information on the reconstruction of this station can be found in this earlier report:
"Behind the Blue Wall" | The Launch Box | October 21, 2012


Now let's go up to street level to have a look at the new entrances that will provide access to the east end of the Lexington Av/63rd St platform.


12/7/2016
63rd Street & 3rd Avenue

A view of the new elevator entrance on the NW corner and the new entrance on the SW corner.



12/7/2016
63rd Street & 3rd Avenue

A view of the new entrance on the NE corner.



12/7/2016
63rd Street & 3rd Avenue

A view of the new entrance on the SE corner.





The images that follow show on-going work at the street level entrances to the new 72nd Street Station on Second Avenue. As the images show, there is still a considerable amount of work that still needs to be accomplished before these entrances can be opened to the public.



12/7/2016
69th St - looking south

A view of one of the two entrances been constructed in a bump-out on Second Avenue near the NE corner of this intersection. If I'm not mistaken, the original plan was to construct this entrances inside the building at this corner but for many reasons this plan was changed.



12/7/2016
btw. 69th & 70th streets - looking south

Another view of the new entrances on this location.



12/7/2016
72nd St - looking east

A view of the new elevator entrance on the SE corner of this intersection. The entrance consists of a bank of five elevators.



12/7/2016
72nd St - looking east

The image shows a flock of birds flying above the new elevator entrance at this location. The birds are not actually real - they are part of the artwork that has been installed at this entrance.



12/7/2016
72n St - looking east

A man waiting for an elevator or a work or art? You be the judge.



12/7/2016
72nd St - looking NW

A view of the massive 8-story tall ancillary building that has been constructed at the NW corner of this intersection. This structure also includes a new entrance to the station.



12/7/2016
2nd Av, just north of 72nd St - looking west

Workers dealing with a few issues at this entrance location.

Look carefully and you can see something quite odd in this image. So why is there a balloon flying under the roof here?

I was fooled by what I saw when I took this shot. It wasn't until the following day when I was editing that I noticed that this image includes a lifesize piece of artwork.








12/7/2016
83rd St - looking south

A view of the new entrance to the 86th Street station at this location.



12/7/2016
Just south of 86th St - looking north

The worker in this image is measuring the sound level at this location. The worker is collecting data to verify that the sound that being produced by the nearby jackhammer work is not louder than what is permitted.



12/7/2016
Just north of 86th St - looking south

Ongoing work at 86th street. The building on the right is an ancillary structure for the new subway line. The new entrances at this location are on 86th Street on the east side of Second Avenue.







12/7/2016
Just south of 94th St - looking west

A view of the new entrance on the SW corner of 94th and Second Ave.



12/7/2016
just north of 94th St - looking south

A view of a new entrance on the NE corner of 94th and Second Avenue



12/7/2016
96th St, NE corner - looking SE

A view of the new entrance on the SW corner of 96th and Second Avenue - which includes both an escalator entrance and an elevator entrance.



12/7/2016
95th St - looking north

A very active work site at this location.



12/7/2016
97th St, NE corner - looking SW

The ancillary building for the 96th Street station.




Interested in what's next for the Second Avenue Subway? Then get yourself over to the official Second Avenue Subway Community information Center at 1628 Second Avenue, btw. 84th and 85th streets. The staff there can answer most any question that you might have about Phase I or Phase II of the project

Note that this office will most likely be moving to East Harlem at some stage in 2017 as Phase II of the project kicks into high gear.

Further details on the scanned images below.










Here's a listing of the recent additions
to the right-hand column of The Launch Box:

"MTA Under Pressure to Open Second Avenue Subway"
By Mike Vilensky | The Wall Street Journal | December 5, 2016

"Second Avenue subway’s launch date may change, MTA warns"
By Vincent Barone | amNY | November 16, 2016

" ‘Unprecedented’ Work Required to Open 2nd Avenue Subway by Year’s End, Officials Say"
By Emma Fitzsimmons | The New York Times | November 14, 2016

"Changing Grid: Second Avenue Subway and Its Impact on Rental Costs"
By Mariela Quintana | StreetEasy Blog | November 9, 2016

"All aboard the Second Avenue Subway real estate boom"
By Roberta Bernstein | The New York Post | November 2, 2016