Congress to Fund Second Ave. Subway and East Side Access

Nearly $230 Millions In Federal Funding Coming To NYC

Rep. Carolyn Maloney today lauded a decision by Congressional negotiators to fully fund both the East Side Access (ESA) and Second Avenue Subway (SAS) projects in the omnibus appropriations bill that is expected to be approved later this week.

New York will receive $215 million for the ESA and $14.6 million for the SAS. Both figures reflect the funding levels requested by the Obama Administration. For SAS, the funding represents the last remaining installment due from the federal government under the full funding grant agreement signed between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

“Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access are the largest infrastructure projects anywhere in the country and they will dramatically improve New York’s transit system,” said Maloney. “Securing the federal funding to turn these long-planned projects into realities has been a top priority for my entire congressional career, and it is amazing to think that this represents the final installment on the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway. I’m thrilled that the projects have once again earned bipartisan support.”

The Second Avenue Subway construction has been divided into four phases. Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway project includes 2.3 miles of new track, three new accessible subway entrances at 96th Street, 86th Street and 72nd Street, new connections to the existing 63rd Street station, 11 station entrances, 6 ancillary buildings, a ventilation shaft and a cooling tower structure.

The first phase of the Second Avenue Subway will provide a one-seat ride from the Upper East Side to Times Square, lower Manhattan, and Brooklyn, will carry more than 200,000 riders each day and ease congestion on the most overcrowded subway routes in the nation: the 4, 5, and 6 Lexington Avenue IRT trains on Manhattan’s East Side.

The federal government entered into a full funding grant agreement with the MTA pursuant to which it is providing $1.3 billion of the $4.451 billion project. Just $14.6 million of the $1.3 billion has yet to be appropriated.

The MTA’s 2010-2014 Capital Plan includes all of the state funding needed for the first phase of the project. Phase I is expected to be completed by December 2016. All ten of the Phase I contracts have been awarded and three have been completed. All blasting for Phase I was completed in November 2013.

East Side Access

The LIRR is the largest suburban commuter railroad in the country, transporting 272,000 passengers on more than 700 trains every 24 hours and Maloney has helped secure nearly $2.6 billion in federal funds to construct the East Side Access tunnel.

The vast majority of those passengers exit at Penn Station, with more than 50 percent then using another mode of transit to jobs on Man- hattan’s East Side.

Additionally, the LIRR is currently operating at or near capacity, with overcrowding adding time and inconvenience to daily commutes.

On December 16, 2006, the MTA and the Federal Transit Administration signed a full funding grant agreement, pursuant to which the federal government agreed to provide $2.6 billion of the project’s cost, currently estimated at $8.3 billion.

ESA will carry LIRR passengers directly to Grand Central Terminal in the core of Manhattan’s Central Business District. It also calls for the creation of a new LIRR stop in Sunnyside helping commuters reach the business district in Long Island City, the fourth largest business district in New York City and the largest in the Borough of Queens.

Once finished, ESA will add nearly 50 percent more rail capacity into Manhattan from Long Island and Queens, saving East Side-bound commuters 30 to 40 minutes daily. ESA is anticipated to serve about 160,000 customers a day.

The creation of a direct, “oneseat” LIRR service from the Long Island/Queens corridor into Grand Central Terminal will have a number of significant regional transportation benefits, relieve congestion at Penn Station; reduce crowding on the subway lines that use Penn Station; and resolve a critical bottleneck at Harold Interlocking in the Sunnyside Rail Yard, thereby making High Speed Rail possible in the Northeast Corridor.

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