Monday, June 27, 2011

Second Avenue Subway In Jeopardy Over Lack of Financing

Once again, the oft-delayed Second Avenue Subway is in jeopardy for lack of financing to complete critical contracts for stations along the right of way. Contracts to build out subway stations at 72nd Street, 86th Street, and 96th Street are pending, and the MTA lacks the funds to make that happen.

The state legislature recessed without appropriating any additional money for the project (including for a payroll tax), which means that the MTA and taxpayers will once again have a tunnel to nowhere as happened the last time that the MTA attempted to get the project underway in the 1970s. Then, as now, the MTA was able to build a stretch of tunnel, but the project had to quit after the money ran out.

New York City and the state have reduced funding for the MTA over the past decade, and the MTA has not exactly been a good steward of its projects as costs have spiraled out of control on other key projects. Indeed, the bridges that the MTA oversees are in poor shape, and toll hikes that were meant to improve both mass transit and bridge conditions haven't reaped the promised improvements - particularly so for bridges and tunnels the condition of which is quite poor.

With the financing problems, perhaps the folks on the Upper East Side who are complaining about the dust and construction will find a much improved situation when the money runs out.

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