Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

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  by Jeff Smith
More fallout; still, not very strongly worded, but useful questions: https://maloney.house.gov/media-center/ ... n-light-of" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The Honorable Thomas F. Prendergast
Chairman and CEO
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
2 Broadway
New York, NY 10004

Dear Chairman Prendergast,

We were disappointed to learn that roughly half the cuts in the MTA’s 2015-2019 capital plan are coming from Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway, a project which would significantly benefit our districts, and the City of New York. Phase 2 of the subway will provide relief to riders on the Lexington Avenue IRT, the nation’s most overcrowded subway, and provide subway service to an area that is currently underserved. It will also generate economic development in an area of the City that continues to have high levels of poverty. According to the U.S. Census, the median income in the area is less than $34,000 and near 125th Street is as low as $15,625. The people who live near phase 2 rely on mass transit and need better transportation alternatives. The Second Avenue Subway will make a huge difference in their lives.

We understand that the MTA will be moving forward with preliminary engineering and design, but it is disappointing to know that this project is once again being short-changed. As you know, the long history of the Second Avenue Subway has involved repeated incidents of funding allocated and withdrawn, plans made and cancelled, ground-breakings celebrated and construction halted. We hope that this substantial funding cut does not signal the MTA’s lack of commitment to building phase 2 of the project. Accordingly, we have a number of questions:

What is the current timetable for phase 2?
What work is being delayed as a result of the reduction?
How is the $535 million allocated for phase 2 expected to be spent?
How much of the $535 million is expected to be spent each year?
What needs to be done before the MTA can apply for New Starts funding?
When does the MTA expect to apply for New Starts funding?
How much New Starts funding does the MTA expect to receive?
When does the MTA expect to negotiate a full funding grant agreement with the MTA?
What is the current status of phase 2? Has any work been done on phase 2?
How much will preliminary engineering and design cost?
How long will preliminary engineering and design take?
How many station entrances will be built in phase 2?
What proportion of the tunneling has already been completed and how much remains to be done?
How many ancillary facilities does the MTA expect to build? How many that are not also station entrances?
What is the total expected cost of the project?
We look forward to hearing from you and hope that you can reassure us that the Second Avenue Subway is not being put on the back burner.

Very truly yours,

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney

Congressman Charles Rangel
  by 35dtmrs92
All right, de Blasio has been a weaker transit advocate than I and many others have been hoping for, but someone has to call out Cuomo. He asks the city to chip in for about ten percent of the capital program--one of the largest shares since the MTA was formed (to the best of my knowledge, please correct me if I am wrong), while he controls the same number of seats on the MTA board, and while the state collects more taxes from the city than it distributes in benefits, and while he remains the most intractable roadblock to the Move NY plan, therein barring the city from a key recurring revenue source, in defiance of a broad coalition in his own party. The only possible outcome was going to be something like we are experiencing now, where not even the basics are funded in the capital plan. Where does the hypocrisy end? I sincerely hope that he does not treat the Gateway project the same way he has treated the MTA and that the voters and big donors in NY wake up.
  by railfan365
BigUglyCat wrote:
railfan365 wrote:...putting another section of tunnel from the 1970's into use which has been maintained in usable condition for 40 years already at considerable expense.
Is this certain? My impression was that the 1970 tunnel work no longer fit the requirements, and that that work would be bypassed.
This is referenced in the web sites on the SAS. Phase I incorporates the section of tunnel built in the 1970's between 99th and 106th Streets, Phase II, IF it will get done, will incorporate the section of tunnel between 110th and 120th Streets. The section of tunnel that will NOT be used, even if Phase IV will get done, is the one in Chinatown.
  by Jeff Smith
http://secondavenuesagas.com/2015/11/06 ... as-phases/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
While responding to questions about why everything cost so much, Horodniceanu said he expects Phase 2 to cost between $5.5-$6 billion and believes tunneling to south to Houston St. — Phase 3 of the project — will cost $10-$12 billion. It’s not clear if the latter eyepopping figure is the combined costs of completing Phases 2 and 3 or if Phase 3 separately will cost that much. Either way, these dollar figures are astounding and would shatter records for most expensive subway projects, on a per-mile basis, anywhere.
For the Second Avenue Subway, Phase 2 involves old tunnels and a new dig that must cut underneath Metro-North at 125th St. and the Lexington Ave. IRT. The Final Environmental Impact Statement [pdf] claimed that Phase 1 would cost $3.8 billion while Phase 2 would cost $3.4 billion and Phase 3 would cost $4.8 billion. Even accounting for inflation, the new estimates, off the cuff as they may be, blow these 11-year-old projections out of the water. And that’s a big problem for future transit expansion in New York City.
http://web.mta.info/capital/sas_docs/feis/chapter03.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by railfan365
I don't have any further information about what should happen with the S.A.S. going forward, but what has been going on has a distinct irony in it for me personally. In November, 2003, it was announced that construction of a second avenue subway would finally resume in 2004. At that time, my wife and I were thrilled as Upper East Siders, but my uncle said that they shouldn't bother - that due to incompetence and corruption, it would never actually get done but that there would just endless noise, dirt, and inconvenience while the city would be wasting vast amounts of money on it. My mother translated that to mean that he just didn't want to be bothered with subway construction going on for an extended period of time by his Second Avenue apartment in the East 20's.

Well, 12 years later, my uncle is in his mid-80's and in fading health with the irony being that with they way that Phases I and II have been and are being handled, he's not likely to be bothered by work on Phase III.
  by Ryand-Smith
Only 10 billion is the shocking part, that is not as expensive as I thought for drilling downtown to be honest!
  by Jeff Smith
As NYCT finishes Phase I, we turn our eyes to Phase II. So does Benjamin Kabak: {url=http://secondavenuesagas.com/2016/04/21 ... s-phase-2/]Second Avenue Sagas'[/url]

He mentions the added cost for diverting the line across 125th. Older plans, of course, had it going to the Bronx.
Meanwhile, at Wednesday’s board meeting, MTA CEO and Chairman Tom Prendergast echoed MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu’s off-the-cuff cost estimate from early November. The agency still expects Phase 2 to cost between $5-$6 billion, an exceedingly hight amount even in New York City. Most of the costs seem tied up in the 125th St. station which involves tunneling underneath Metro-North tracks and the Lexington Ave. Subway while building a deep-bore subway stop that’s up to modern safety codes. It’s still not yet clear if the MTA intends to utilize pre-existing tunnel segments north of 96th St. that may be too close to the surface to support the MTA’s current approach to subway construction. We’ll know definitively one way or another within the next year or so.

It's a useful connection to 125th; it could divert much of the GCT subway traffic depending on destination, but is it really worth it? As I recall, the tail tracks continue north along 2nd. It seems to me it would be cheaper to not have to dig under the IRT and MNRR.
  by Frank
I doubt that Phase 2 is going to cost 5 billion since a good amount of tunnel work was done in the 1970s. While there will be some difficulties, particularly on the curve on to 125th St, I don't expect too many difficulties with Phase 2. Phase 3 and 4 on the other hand, will be another story.
  by JoshKarpoff
My understanding is that MTA Capital Construction engineers are unsure whether the northern segment of the two UES segments built in the 70's will be useful for the current version of the project. The problem is that the existing segment is at "cut and cover" depth, but in order to dive under the Lexington Ave Line and other subsurface obstacles, they need to be fairly deep. This means they could face a pretty steep track grade, on a curve.

I also believe that the newer plan is for stub tunnels to be dug to leave a provision for future expansion to the Bronx and tail tracks west of the proposed 125th St terminus. In the nearer term this setup could allow for a train to be stored in the stub tunnel to increase rush hour capacity beyond the tail tracks at 125th.

I also vaguely remember some discussion in the past on this board about potential future expansion west down 125th St, creating an Uptown cross train. This would be useful in so many ways, but I also vaguely remember mention of very challenging subsurface conditions in the area, between existing lines, water tunnels and geological fault lines.
  by Jeff Smith
I've set up a separate topic for Second Avenue Subway Operations as opposed to this topic, which can continue for Phases II, III, and IV construction, if and when they happen.
  by Jeff Smith
Deadline slipping away due to contractor neglect? NY Daily News

Contractor in no hurry to help finish Second Ave. subway project despite MTA trying to accelerate the work

The clock is ticking for the MTA to get the Second Ave. subway open this December — but there’s one contractor not feeling any pressure.

At the 86th St. station work site this past Saturday, there was no work being done — even though the contractor, Schiavone Construction, is supposed to be on an accelerated schedule, MTA’s construction chief, Michael Horodniceanu, told agency brass on Monday.

“It was obvious that they had no one on the job,” he told the MTA board.
Still, even without losing a day of work, the MTA has other risks to meeting its December goal, according to the independent engineer overseeing the project.

Crews are working on a backlog of design changes and a delay in testing the fire alarm system, according to the engineer, Kent Haggas.

Contractors also need to make up lost time on getting the communications equipment set up.
  by JoshKarpoff
A rep for the General Contractors Association spoke at the MTA board meeting on Tuesday. She said that the contractor had given their employees Father's Day off after having them work 7 day work weeks for the past 20+ weeks.
Don't forget that it's actual people building this project, not machines. I've worked 7 day weeks for several months on projects, it's absolutely brutal. So cut a little slack.
  by Jeff Smith
Good point; I want to clarify I wasn't endorsing the viewpoint expressed. I just put the news out there.
  by Jeff Smith
The post confirms the above, and adds the issue is change orders: NY Post
Blame design changes for the Second Avenue Subway delays
A recent delay came when the MTA demanded a new shade of concrete on the sidewalk outside the 86th Street station — after contractors had already installed the completed walkway for two blocks, she said.

Contractors also had to tear down and rebuild station entrances, move a pump room three feet, and twice install the pipes for the fire-alarm system between the 72nd Street, 86th Street and 96th Street stations, Richardson said.

There are always changes on projects of this size, said Richardson, but not nearly this many — and they are typically made before work is completed.

Richardson made the remarks in response to the head of capital construction, Michael Horodniceanu, telling the board on Monday that he showed up to a work site last weekend to find no one on the job — and that he was worried how the staffing issues would affect the ability to meet a December deadline.
  by BobLI
Knowing how disconnected the MTA board is with the real world, I'm surprised the board member could even find the construction site!
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