NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Crews have been working around the clock to get the Second Avenue subway finished and that means loud construction noise day and night for some Upper East Side residents.
Crews are working 24/7 to complete the $4.4 billion extension of the Q line by Jan. 1.
The sounds of jack-hammering and drilling has become constant noise along Second Avenue and on 69th Street, even at 4 a.m. Wednesday, road pavers were fast at work.
Neighbors dealing with the round the clock noise say the construction deadline can’t come soon enough.
“The piece of mind of the residents in the area should be prominent,” Upper East Side resident Steven Shapiro told CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported.
“Messy, hard to navigate getting to the local stores, but other than that, I can’t wait for it to finish,” said Upper East Side resident Joacques Burvick.
In the last month, there have been 18 construction noise complaints filed with 311, all of them coming from neighbors who live near the new 69th Street and 72nd Street subway stops.
“People who are right next to it, I don’t know how they are getting a night’s sleep,” said Shapiro. “It’s intolerable.”
CBS2 got an exclusive tour inside the 72nd Street station, which is still under construction. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said after budget issues and years of work, the subway line is just weeks away from being ready and is on schedule.
“I will make you any legal wager you would like to make that this is going to be open on January one,” Cuomo said. “If i have to push the train down the track, that train is going.”
The tracks have been completed, signals have been tested and escalators have been installed and despite large equipment parked in the middle of the station, it’s mostly finished, right down to the countdown clocks.
Project managers say it’s because of the push from Albany.
“He held everybody accountable,” said project manager Charles Hall.
The round-the-clock work is costly, but how much is yet to be seen. The governor says if the money to complete the project wasn’t spent now, it would be paid out over a longer period of time while commuters are kept waiting.
“People are held accountable, held responsible in the real world,” he said. “When you have a deadline, you have a deadline.”
The cost and noise are all worth it, says subway riders groups.
“Riders have been waiting for this subway since the 1930s,” said Nick Sifuentes with the Riders Alliance.”I’m glad they’re doing what they have to get it done.”
The first phase of the project, which has seen budget challenges and major construction delays, will extend the Q train from 57th Street and Seventh Avenue across town to 96th Street and Second Avenue.
The W Train has been revived to take over the old route of the Q into Astoria, Queens.