EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) — Relief is on the way for tens of thousands of New Yorkers currently living in a transit desert.
Construction is set to begin on the long-abandoned Second Avenue subway line in East Harlem.
The plan is to extend the Q Line from 96th Street to East Harlem and across 125th Street to meet Metro North and the 4, 5 and 6 lines.
On Saturday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Representative Adriano Espaillat hosted U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg in East Harlem to formally announce the next steps toward completing this second phase.
“This project has been decades in the making and will extend the existing route to East Harlem, an area often considered a transit desert,” Hochul said. “With the support of President Biden, Secretary Buttigieg, Chairman Schumer, Congressman Espaillat and the entire New York congressional delegation, we are finally getting it done.”
Just last week, Rep. Espaillat and Senate Majority Leader Schumer announced a full funding agreement for the Second Avenue Subway Phase 11 (SAS II) project issued by the Federal Transit Administration.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration signed the $3.4 billion full funding agreement on Saturday.
“New York City has the most comprehensive public transportation system in America, yet there are still transit deserts that lack easy access to the subway – including the communities where people are most likely to rely on public transit to get around.” he told Buttigieg. “The Second Avenue Subway expansion will enable thousands of New Yorkers to get to work and school, access healthy food and healthcare, and see their loved ones – all while relieving pressure on other subway lines and reducing carbon emissions emissions.” “
This $3.4 billion in federal funding will provide tens of thousands of New Yorkers with the subway access that has been promised for decades.
The 1.8-mile extension of the Q Line along the east side of Manhattan to 125th Street will not only improve reliability and mobility, but also reduce overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue Line, which carries 200,000 riders daily.
“Thanks to the investments we made in our bipartisan infrastructure bill, the Second Avenue Subway has now received the largest capital investment grant in the history of the CIG program,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. “It’s no longer abstract. Billions of dollars have been passed in Congress, but now it’s happening all over the country, like here in New York and especially in East Harlem. It will be real: real in terms of jobs and real in terms of better transportation options.”
The $7.7 billion expansion project is the second of four planned phases to expand the Second Avenue Subway to improve the region’s public transportation network.
The project is expected to be completed in eight years.
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