New York commuters will be disappointed – but probably not surprised – to hear that the city’s $2.4 billion 7 train extension will not be ready for service as expected this June. The MTA told the NY Post that the project’s new completion date is being pushed back to late summer or early fall. Luckily, the small construction hiccup does not seem to have any additional budgeting needs. When the project is finally completed, it will extend the transit line, which normally runs from Flushing, Queens to Times Square, across Manhattan to also stop at 34th Street and 11th Avenue.
It’s seems that while tracks have been laid, the transportation authority has run into a problem installing high-rise and incline elevators at the new elevated stations. The project, which was originally championed by former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, called for a new state-of-the-art station buried deep underground in Hell’s Kitchen. The new incline elevators would take passengers from a park entrance down a sub-surface, sloped shaft to the 7 train platforms.
In a related and much more depressing rapport, the New York Daily News has discovered that the East Side Access Project might see an even more protracted delay stretching until 2023. It’s purported that the project, which seeks to connect LIRR train lines with Grand Central, will take over a decade longer to complete. The new plan is also projected to cost more than double the original $4.3 billion budget with a new estimate of $10.8 billion.
Moving forward, the MTA announced it would create a new steering committee to oversee the completion of the project. This newly found council would be comprised of MTA officials and realigned management from Capital Construction with input from LIRR and Amtrak. The new train connections are expected to help reduce crowding on 7 trains and commuting times by 40 minutes for some 80,000 pedestrians using mass transit.
Second Image © NYMTACC