Second Avenue Subway Project
2nd Ave. line back on track
By PETE DONOHUE
Plans for a Second Ave. subway line are rolling ahead - with two stations in lower Manhattan solidly on the drawing board.
The proposed line would run from 125th St. to the southern tip of Manhattan, with the final two stops - which had been under evaluation - at the South Street Seaport at Fulton and Water Sts. and at Hanover Square and Water St., according to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority document reviewed by the Daily News.
The document is part of a supplemental environmental impact statement that has been completed and will be the subject of public hearings next month.
After public input, the MTA is to complete a final impact statement and, after federal approval, begin the final design early next year. Further study could change the project. Construction is slated to begin at the end of next year.
"It brings us one giant step closer to a shovel going in the ground in 2004," said Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields, a longtime proponent of the project.
There would be 16 new stations connecting about 8.5 miles of new track. The MTA estimates the $16 billion project will take 12 to 16 years to finish.
The goal is to relieve the stifling overcrowding on the Lexington Ave. line and provide more subway options and connections.
MTA drawings also show a spur from the Second Ave. line that would let trains turn west at 63rd St., then head to Brooklyn via the Broadway line, making its last Manhattan stop at Canal St. before heading over the Manhattan Bridge.
The MTA will conduct two public hearings on the draft next month: May 12, at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at 1 Bowling Green, and May 13 at El Museo Del Barrio, Heckscher Building, at Fifth Ave. and 104th St. The hearings begin at 4 p.m.
Proposals to build a subway line along Second Ave. go back as far as 1929 but never got very far. Construction of some tunnel segments began, but work stopped in the 1970s because of the city's fiscal crisis.
The MTA's 2000-04 capital program commits more than $1billion toward the project for preliminary and final design, and the start of construction. The next capital program is expected to continue funding for the project, and officials are hoping for large amounts of federal funds in future years.