The M.T.A. announced Monday that the long-delayed Second Avenue subway line is on track to launch its inaugural ride this New Year’s Eve, with local politicians and M.T.A. brass in attendance. The general public will have access the following day at noon.
Plans for the Second Avenue subway line date back to 1929. Construction began in the 1990s, ceased temporarily and continued in 2007. The initial stage of the project has finally come to fruition amid almost a century of skepticism.
“I think you’ll find the art there exhilarating,” M.T.A. Chairman Thomas F. Prendergast stated during Monday’s news conference. “I think you’ll find the environment vastly different from what you see in the New York City subway, and you’ll be pleased I think with the end product.”
The existing Q line will be extended and rerouted along Second Avenue instead of ending at 57th Street and Seventh Avenue. It will continue through an upgraded 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue Station, as well as through three new stations at 72nd, 86th and 96th streets.
In total, the project has run up a tab of approximately $4.4 billion. Phase 2, which will extend the line to 125th Street, is expected to cost several billions more.
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has been pushing the M.T.A. to get the line open by year’s end. Officials say the new subway will help ease overcrowding on the congested 4, 5 and 6 lines along Lexington Avenue.
Throughout the first week, trains will only operate from 6 a.m.-10 p.m., with overnight service starting Jan. 9.