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Progress on the Second Avenue subway

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According to the MTA, the long awaited 'T' line is almost here. The site of that big white box on 2nd Avenue and 70th Street will soon be history, as early as December 2016.

The Second Avenue Subway will reduce overcrowding and delays on the Lexington Avenue line, improving travel for both city and suburban commuters, and provide better access to mass transit for residents of the far East Side of Manhattan. The line is being built in phases; the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway will provide service from 96th St. to 63rd St. as an extension of the Q train.

Different from the subways past design there will be many high-tech upgrades.

The first phase will be completed in December, 2016 and will serve approximately 200,000 daily riders. It will decrease crowding on the Lexington Avenue Line by as much as 13%, or 23,500 fewer riders on an average weekday; and travel time will be reduced by 10 minutes or more for many riders traveling from the Upper East Side

The MTA has officially opened its new Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center (CIC) at 1628 Second Avenue (between 84th & 85th Streets). A first-of-its-kind facility, the CIC will offer rotating exhibits and programming about the history and construction of the Second Avenue Subway. The center will serve as a one-stop shop where Second Avenue residents, businesses, stakeholders and the general public can ask questions, learn more about the Second Avenue Subway construction project and bring issues of concern to the project staff.

Once the “T” line is completed, it will not look anything like our current subway system. Many will be surprised to see no more dark and dingy subway tunnels. Instead you’ll see steep, modern escalators like the transit in London or Washington D.C.

In all, 16 new stations will be built, serving communities in Harlem, the Upper East Side, East Midtown, Gramercy Park, East Village, the Lower East Side, Chinatown and Lower Manhattan. The new stations will also provide transfers to other subway and commuter rail lines.

It seems all the new subway projects are reaching record depths. The 7-extension and the new East Side Access will operate at 8 and 14 stories below street level, respectively. And it will run on two tracks.

Finally, those who use canes or crutches and for New York's fashionable high-heeled women --there will be fewer obstacles as there are no grates. Nor will there be the subway order we now smell through the grates.

And no more feeling sticky and fanning yourself in those dog days of summer as all 16 stations along the 'T' line will be climate controlled for maximum comfort, with convenient elevator and escalator access, including access for the disabled.

According to the Real Deal, East Side property owners East of 3rd Avenue will see their property values increase. They report that home values east of 3rd Avenue rose 11.4% in the past year vs. 10.4% for the East Side as a whole -- showing that homes along 2nd Avenue are becoming more competitive with those closer to Lexington. As opening draws nearer, expect this boost to increase.

This past February, the Real Deal reported that a four-story, 50-foot-wide building at 1804-06 Second Avenue and 93rd Street that sold for $5.8 million two years ago is now predicted to nab nearly triple that price. Several new construction projects have recently been unveiled, and condominium rates along the avenue jumped in 2013 for the first time in four years.

While the MTA forecasts still point to a December 2016 completion date, a recent MTA study projects a more realistic Summer 2017 opening. Optimism shows there will be at the end of this tunnel.

For an interactive view of the full project profile click here

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Ross Ellis is also the Examiner for:

National Parenting Examiner
NY Real Estate

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