2nd Avenue Subway to Start Really Soon! Really.

With Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff and The New York Times breathing down his neck with talk of financing problems, MTA Capital Construction President Mysore Nagaraja announced on Tuesday that the agency had signed its first construction contract for the Second Avenue Subway (albeit $17 million over budget). The groundbreaking is coming some time in April.

Full release after the jump.

- Matthew Schuerman

First Construction Contract Signed for Second Avenue Subway

Work to Begin in April

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the signing of the first contract for construction of the Second Avenue Subway. The contract allows work to begin on construction of the first phase of the subway, which will run from 96th to 63rd streets before connecting to existing train service to provide access to the west side and Brooklyn.

“This contract paves the way for the first expansion of the subway system in more than fifty years,” said Mysore Nagaraja, President, MTA Capital Construction. “While the Second Avenue Subway has been talked about for years, it is now a reality, and you will soon see our construction teams hard at work on and under Second Avenue.”

The first contract will provide for construction of a launch box between 92nd and 95th streets from which a tunnel boring machine (TBM) will excavate the tunnels from 92nd to 63rd streets. Also included in the first contract is the construction of two shafts at 69th Street and 72nd Street for the construction of the 72nd Street Station. The contract was awarded to S3 Tunnel Constructors, a Joint Venture composed of Skanska USA Civil Northeast, Schiavone Construction and J.F. Shea, in the amount of $337,025,000. Funding for this project consists of a combination of Federal Transit Administration grants and local funds provided by the New York State Transportation Bond Act of 2004 and the MTA Capital Program.

This is the first of six Phase I construction contracts to be awarded for the Second Avenue Subway Project. The remaining contracts include: the 96th Street Station, the 86th Street Station, the 72nd Street Station, the 63rd Street/Lexington Avenue Station Rehabilitation, and the Systems contract which includes the track, power, signals and communications work.

The full build of the Second Avenue Subway consists of four phases, with the final project running from 125th Street to Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan. Phase I subway service, which is projected to carry over 200,000 weekday riders when it is complete in 2013, will be an extension of the existing Q service in Manhattan. Q service will operate along Second Avenue from 96th Street to 63rd Street, where it will divert west along the existing 63rd Street line, stopping at the Lexington Avenue/63rd Street Station. It will then continue west under Central Park on tracks that are not currently being used for passenger service and then head south to the existing 57th/7th Avenue station, which is where the northbound Q service now terminates.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held in April, with details to be released at the MTA’s March 28 board meeting.

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