NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After being stalled for years, state and federal leaders believe the expansion of the Second Avenue subway is finally going to get the green light.

But the federal government still has to approve three new stations in East Harlem.

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CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas was there Tuesday as Gov. Kathy Hochul went down into the tunnel for a tour.

Excavated in the 1970s, the tunnel for the expansion of the Second Avenue subway has remained dormant.

With the most recent proposals stalled during the Trump administration, Gov. Hochul, along with members of New York’s congressional delegation, said the plans are finally ready to take off.

“Ladies and gentleman, next stop: 125th Street,” Hochul said.

The first phase, completed in 2017, extended the Q train from Lexington Avenue at 63rd Street to 96th Street.

Phase two would add new stations at 106th Street, 116th Street and 125th Street in East Harlem, an area currently described as a transit desert.

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“This is the most transit dependent community in the City of New York. Seventy percent of residents use public transportation to get to work versus the citywide average of 55%,” Hochul said.

The infrastructure package signed by President Biden last week allowed for $23 billion in new funding for transit expansion projects and this one would qualify.

The federal government still has to approved the plan. The price tag is an often-criticized $6.3 billion, far more than phase one.

“You got to look at how many people it serves. By the standards of the riders, this is an incredibly efficient project,” said MTA Acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.

Combined, phases one and two are estimated to serve 300,000 riders a day.

Project delays just add to the price tag. That’s why Hochul wants to expedite the process, with the MTA pledging the expansion would be complete in six to eight years after construction starts.

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Lawmakers are hoping to get approval from the federal government early next year.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas