NYC residents get an underground tour of the construction zone that will become the Second Avenue Subway line. Sharon Reich reports.
A rare opportunity to walk through the Second Avenue Subway construction zone. We tagged along with a group of NYC residents to get a glimpse of what will be an extension of the Q subway line set to open in December of next year. Construction kicked off in 2007 and since, residents have complained of traffic, noise pollution and closed sidewalks. Officials are hoping that the tour can help change opinions. SOUNDBITE: Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, MTA Capital Construction president, saying (English): "The only thing that they are seeing is the fact that we are impacting them on the street level. So by seeing what we did underground, it helped us also get a message through that what we're doing is very positive, we're building history and they are part of the history." The train will run from East 96th Street to East 63rd Street and will stop at three stations. Planning for the subway line extension began about 80 years ago. The project was canceled however, due to funding. This first phase, which is nearly complete, is costing the city $4.5 billion (USD). So how do residents feel after coming above ground ? SOUNDBITE: Charles Fiori, NYC resident saying (English): "You realize how close we are to getting this major addition to the transportation system ready for New York. The work that's already in place is incredible, it's extraordinary. It's like nothing I've ever seen." SOUNDBITE: Charles Fiori, NYC resident saying (English): "It's very complicated down there, very intense the way it's going up but it's going to be nice to have a subway close by." And that may be a sentiment more commuters share. If funds are approved for phase 2, construction for an extension from East 125th to East 96th Street, will begin in 2019.