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Building NYC’s 2nd Ave. Subway

The New York City subway system is one of the largest mass transit systems in the world, and NYC’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is making it bigger. Currently, the MTA is constructing the Second Avenue subway line to accompany the city’s existing trains, but this isn’t the first time this subway line was contemplated.

The Second Ave. subway line was conceived originally, with the idea of an East Side train dating back to the 1920’s. According to Second Avenue Saga the train was originally planned to be built from 1930 to 1935, but was abandoned after the stock market crash of that era. There were several more attempts over the past eight decades that all fell through.The unconstructed train line even getting a nod on AMC’s period-drama “Mad Men.”

According to the MTA website,“The Second Avenue Subway will reduce overcrowding and delays on the Lexington Avenue line (4, 5, and 6 trains), improving travel for both city and suburban commuters, and provide better access to mass transit for residents of the far East Side of Manhattan.” . The project will cost $4.45 billion and is being built in phases. The first phase will provide service between 96th St. and 63rd St. as via a rerouted Q train by December 2016.

Even though the idea for this line came almost a century ago, the construction process is anything but old fashioned. Below is a video from the MTA website that shows a “Milestone” event of a tunnel boring machine breaking through a rock wall east of the Lexington Ave-63rd St. subway station.

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