MTA Procurement for First Construction Contract Signifies Critical Next Step in Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 Project
New Conceptual Design Renderings of Stations Unveiled
Draft Renderings Available Here
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is advancing on Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway with the solicitation of the first contract for construction of the future extension of the Second Avenue Subway to 125th Street in Harlem. The long-awaited extension will deliver transportation equity to East Harlem, one of the most transit-dependent neighborhoods in New York City. As part of this announcement, the MTA also unveiled new conceptual renderings of the proposed stations for the extension, providing future riders with a first-ever glimpse into the potential station interior and exterior designs. The draft renderings are subject to further design development and are available here.
"As part of my administration's efforts to advance transit equity across New York State, the Second Avenue Subway project will expand critical public transportation service to East Harlem, creating more opportunity for residents," Governor Hochul said. "We remain committed to keeping this long-envisioned project moving along swiftly for East Harlem, and I am proud to see it moving one step closer to reality."
The scope of work for the first contract for Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 incorporates lessons learned from Phase 1 and will involve critical utility relocation, laying the groundwork for advancing construction of three future stations and necessary system infrastructure. The contract will be solicited as a Design-Bid-Build A+B contract, which incentivizes proposers to compete on both cost and time needed to complete the work. In 2022, MTA Construction and Development saved more than $100 million on A+B contract awards compared to estimates. The solicitation has been posted, and a contract is expected to be awarded this fall, with work to begin by the end of the year.
MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, "Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway is an investment in transit equity and a truly life changing project. The East Harlem community has waited decades for it, and this expansion will serve over 100,000 riders daily, connecting Harlemites to jobs, education and opportunity throughout the region."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, "After working hard to deliver billions of dollars in federal funding to support the expansion of the Second Avenue Subway, I am so proud that the next phase of this critical project is moving forward. I thank Governor Hochul, Congressman Espaillat, and all of our partners in government for prioritizing building public transit to East Harlem, which has been deprived of direct subway access for far too long. As we move closer towards construction, I encourage the MTA to ensure local contractors and small businesses enjoy the maximum benefit from this generational project."
Representative Adriano Espaillat said, "I am excited to share news of the progress we have made to further expand the Second Avenue Subway to East Harlem and to join the MTA, Governor Hochul, and East Harlem leaders in today's announcement and release of these new draft renderings. Last week, I held a roundtable discussion with stakeholders to share updates on the design and construction of Phase II of the Second Avenue Subway expansion. As we enter the next phase of this project, I encourage all eligible contractors from my district to submit proposals to help advance construction along the route to change the lives of residents who call Harlem home. Expansion of the Second Avenue Subway has been long in the works, and today's announcement and these new draft renderings are a critical next step to move development of the project forward and keep our timeline on track."
Representative Jerry Nadler said, "Today's announcement brings us another step closer to bridging the transit desert in East Harlem as we move forward with construction of the Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 extension. I'm proud to have fought for this project since its inception, and will continue to fight for the federal funding necessary to swiftly deliver transit equity to the East Side."
State Senator Cordell Cleare said, "I am pleased that the 2nd Avenue Subway line will extend into Harlem. Transportation access, or the lack thereof, has always plagued Black and Brown communities. This expansion is a crucial step toward transportation equity which will improve the quality of life for several New Yorkers."
Assemblymember Edward Gibbs said, "The Second Avenue Subway extension is a vital part of how residents in East Harlem will continue to strengthen the bonds between our neighborhood and the rest of the city. From getting to work or school, or even access to affordable fresh, clean food, this subway extension will improve the quality of life for thousands of families across East Harlem, who previously haven't had easily accessible public transit available out their door. This is a tremendous step in the right direction to providing equitable transit services to every corner of New York and I'm grateful to the Governor for moving forward on this critical link."
New York City Council Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala said, "The beginning of Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway marks an important milestone for the East Harlem community. The Second Avenue Subway is more than just an infrastructure project within my community; it brings economic opportunity for all our small businesses that have struggled to rebound from the pandemic; it provides accessibility and convenience to residents and anyone looking to indulge themselves into Puerto Rican culture; and most importantly it expands the economic potential of 125th Street and the region as a whole."
New York City Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan said, "When you think of NYC, subways and the MTA are among the first things that come to mind. With over 8 million residents, we constantly need to think about our public transportation, its efficiency, and reliability. As a commuter myself, I am happy to support the 2nd Avenue subway line, which provides better access to the city and public transportation for our neighbors. We hope this subway line will increase efficiency for those in the area who need to commute to work, as well as for those outside the area who are looking to work, shop, and visit locations along the 2nd Avenue line. The recently shared images represent a step forward in commuter accessibility for all New Yorkers, and we are proud to support the growth of our community."
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said, "With phase one of the second avenue extension behind us, it's time to turn to phase two and ensure that New Yorkers in East Harlem have easy access to the subway. The release of this solicitation is a major step toward more equitable subway service in an underserved part of Manhattan. I'm looking forward to working with my elected colleagues and the MTA throughout the process, and ensuring that local stakeholders have ample opportunity to participate as this project unfolds."
MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer said, "This first contract of Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 exemplifies the MTA's ability to adapt lessons learned from past projects and replicate cost containment measures for better, faster, and cheaper project delivery. We are excited to advance procurement for this transformative project, which will create a more connected and integrated MTA system in East Harlem than ever before."
Uptown Grand Board Chair Diane Collier said, "Uptown Grand Central is dedicated to transforming East 125th Street into a thriving corridor, and creating a welcoming gateway to Harlem. To strengthen this transit point, it is imperative to create more robust connections between the new q train and 456 subway lines, M60 bus and Metro-North station; improve adjacent public spaces and calm our currently congested sidewalks; and offer opportunities for local art and retail. We look forward to the potential that the Second Avenue Subway brings to build the vibrant transit hub that the people of Harlem deserve."
This announcement follows the Finding of No Significant Impact for the Central Business District Tolling Program issued by the Federal Highway Administration last week. Revenue from congestion pricing will support $15 billion in funding for critical projects in the MTA's current capital program, which includes Second Avenue Subway Phase 2. The MTA is finalizing a funding agreement with the Federal Transit Administration for the project and has ensured that federally required contingency for the project is in place through a Capital Plan Amendment approved by the MTA Board last week, subject to approval by the MTA Capital Plan Review Board.
As part of the MTA's commitment to delivering key infrastructure projects better, faster, and cheaper, the first contract for Phase 2 incorporates lessons learned from Second Avenue Subway Phase 1. Addressing utility relocation requirements upfront will reduce the risk of unexpected costs or delays later as construction progresses. The first contract will also include temporary streetscape modifications that will be required during construction, including new bike lanes to replace those that will be impacted by construction on Second Avenue, and building remediation in preparation for future contracts for the new subway station at 106 Street.
Additional cost containment initiatives in Phase 2 include reuse of a tunnel segment that was built in the 1970s from 110 Street to 120 Street along Second Avenue, early real estate acquisition, adoption of best value contract structures like A+B contracts, reduction in back-of-house and ancillary space, and close coordination of contracts.
About Phase 2
The second phase of the project will extend train service from 96 Street north to 125 Street and then west on 125 Street to Park Avenue, approximately 1.5 miles in total. There will be two new stations at 106 Street and 116 Street on Second Ave, and a direct passenger connection with the existing 125 Street subway station on the Lexington Avenue subway line. Phase 2 will also feature an entrance at Park Avenue to allow convenient transfers to the Metro-North Railroad 125 Street Station.
Each station will have above-ground ancillary buildings that house ventilation, mechanical, and electrical equipment, as well as space for possible ground-floor retail and community uses. The expansion will serve an additional 100,000 daily riders and provide three new ADA accessible stations -- raising the bar for customer comfort and convenience. Increased multimodal transit connectivity at the 125 Street station at Park Avenue with connections to the , Metro-North trains and the M60 Select Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport, will allow for convenient transfers to other subway and commuter rail lines, facilitating smoother, faster transportation across the city and metropolitan region.
About Phase 1
Phase 1 of the project extended the line from 63 Street to 96 Street and was New York City's largest expansion of the subway system in 50 years. Service opened on January 1, 2017, with additional stations at 72 Street and 86 Street. Since its completion, the Second Avenue Subway has carried more than 130 million passengers in total, including more than 200,000 passengers on a typical pre-pandemic day.