Reporting Alex Silverman
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The tunneling for the new Second Avenue Subway was finally completed this week, and residents and lawmakers are now weighing in on the progress of the project.
LISTEN: WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman reports
MTA officials were on hand Thursday as a subway tunnel boring machine completing its second run from 92nd Street and Second Avenue. It then headed for a big break through at the existing tunnel at the Lexington Avenue-63rd Street station.
According to the MTA, the boring machine weighs 485 tons and is 450 feet long. Using a 22-foot diameter cutterhead, it mined 7,789 linear feet in two tunnels, averaging about 60 linear feet a day.
This marks the completion of more than two miles of new tunnels that will provide service from 96th Street to 63rd Street as an extension of the Q train.
“We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who issued a report card on the project Saturday. “We have completed two tunnels five months ahead of schedule.”
But with praise comes constructive criticism.
“The mitigation of construction is C minus,” she said. “They didn’t too well in this area.”
Many residents and business owners have been unhappy with the smells, noise and dust coming from the construction site.
Ernie has owned a restaurant at 91st and Second Avenue since 1965. He says business is down 50 percent.
“Mrs. Maloney, we asked her to do some kind of tax benefits for the community, for the businesses around here, but nothing,” he said.
The first phase of the Second Avenue subway goes into service around December 2016.
The MTA says the subway eventually will serve more than 200,000 people per day. It will reduce crowding on the packed Lexington Avenue line. The neighborhood lost its Second Avenue Elevated in 1940.
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