The 7 line extension is back in the news again as Mayor Bloomberg feels confident that the city can still build a 10th Ave station as part of the 7 line extension. Readers of this blog know how critical I have been of this project overall over the last couple of years. The only positive aspect I saw of it was the 10th Ave station & of course, that was the one part of the project in doubt throughout the process.
Let’s take a look at the new confidence of Mayor Bloomberg courtesy of a report by Michael Howard Saul for the Wall Street Journal:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday he is “confident” the city can preserve the ability to build a second subway station as part of the extension of the No. 7 subway line in Manhattan, a move that follows aggressive lobbying from the real-estate industry and the City Council.
“We need engineers to confirm that it’s viable, but we’re confident we’ve found a way to keep the prospect of a future Tenth Avenue station alive without delaying the current extension,” Bloomberg said in a statement.
The city, which agreed to pay for the extension for the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is spending $2.1 billion to extend the No. 7 line from Times Square to 34th Street and 11th Avenue. The city originally planned to build a second station at 10th Avenue and 41st Street but scrapped it when costs skyrocketed.
As The Journal reported earlier this month, the Bloomberg administration agreed to take a second look at this issue in the wake of intense lobbying from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the Real Estate Board of New York.
The administration had planned to announce this spring that it would move forward with the construction of the subway line, and that it was officially closing the door on building the second station. But officials said they’ve found a simple solution that preserves the option of building the second station, if funding develops in the future.
Under the new design proposal, the new station would be built with two entrances and two separate platforms – one for eastbound and one for westbound trains. The MTA prefers now to build subways where passengers can enter at any point, no matter what direction they’re headed. But officials said the compromise preserves the option of the second station, allowing it to be built at later date without interrupting service.
The city will apply for $3 million in federal funding for an engineering study to, among other things, confirm that the new design plans for the second station are viable. Bloomberg aides stressed the funding for the station, estimated to cost about $550 million, still needs to be identified, and that the city has no intention of forking over the cash.
“Our priority has always been extending the train to the Hudson Yards area to help spur major commercial and residential growth there, and we’re on track to complete it by the end of 2013,” Bloomberg said.
“The city is in no position to step in and pay for a Tenth Avenue station too,” he added, “but it will be good news if we can finish the current extension without closing off the possibility of it happening in the future.”
Click here for the complete report.
Shortly thereafter, the MTA sent out a statement which I received saying:
The MTA is fully supportive of the Mayor’s proposal to seek federal funding to study the viability of building out a Tenth Avenue station in the future. While neither the City or MTA can fund the station due to financial constraints, we should not preclude the possibility of a station in the future. We will continue to work together to complete the extension of the 7 line on time and on budget.
I will believe the station is built when I see it with my own eyes. For now, this project is still a complete waste & does more to service cronies versus actual riders. What else is new in the world of mass transit in our region!
xoxo Transit Blogger