NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo applied the pressure at the end of last year, and a stretch of the Second Avenue subway finally opened on time – but at what cost?
As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, the fire alarm system was still being tested when the stations opened on New Year’s Day, according to documents obtained by the New York Times.
Workers had to be posted along the tracks to watch it for fires, the documents said.
Phil Plotch, former planning manager at the MTA, is now writing a book about the Second Avenue subway and says the documents reveal something.
“The most important thing at the end of 2016 was meeting that deadline,” Plotch said.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority insisted through a spokesman that any suggestion that safety was at all compromised to meet the deadline to open was not true.
“The stations on the new Second Avenue line are completely safe and they have been since the day they opened. They feature state-of-the-art technology for fire protection, closed-circuit monitoring, and new public address systems – any suggestion that safety was at all compromised to meet the deadline to open is patently false,” said spokesman John McCarthy.
But Plotch said: “It’s a little bit like buying a house without fully inspecting everything and making sure everything is perfect. It doesn’t mean it’s not safe. It just means that it’s going to be costly in the long run.”
One report said thousands of defects had not been addressed. Most were likely minor.