NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – The first phase of the 2nd Avenue subway project is expected to last until 2016.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

That means dirt, debris, and disruptions for businesses and residents on the Upper East Side.

At a State Senate hearing on Tuesday, business owners complained that the 2nd Avenue subway line construction has brought profits to a screeching halt.

For 23 years, Joe Pecora has run a restaurant called Delizia at East 92nd Street and 2nd Avenue.

“My business has gone down by 10 to 15 percent and also I don’t see any growth,” Pecora told WCBS 880 reporter Rich Lamb. “My lunch business is way down.”

Lawyer Norman Siegel is representing 189 of the businesses on 2nd Avenue and threatens to sue.

“It’s extremely bad. It’s a nightmare. These businesses are hurting,” says Siegel.

MTA chairman Jay Walder promises the MTA will do a better job of helping businesses but, he says, “I would not want to give any impression that we can make the impact to construction go away.”

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