Second Avenue Subway: Completed Portions, 1970s

From nycsubway.org

Construction contracts were let about 1974 for four sections, but the city budget crisis prevented further work. The contracts begun were completed and so these four bits have been completed:

  • Chinatown, near the Manhattan Bridge: From the east side of the Bowery along Division Street, to Chrystie Street. Passes in front of Confucius Plaza (apartment tower), P.S. 124, under private property (notice a ventilation structure aboveground), and then under Manhattan Bridge plaza to near the north side of the plaza, ending a bit short of the Chrystie St line. (This is a short distance, about 2 blocks total.) The structure underpins the subway coming off of the Manhattan Bridge (the existing "Canal Street Bridge Line" and the former connection to the Nassau Street loop). North of here, contract drawings indicate that the tunnel would continue to come into Grand St. station on either side of the existing route, offering cross-platform transfers. It is unknown whether the Chrystie Street construction included the 2nd Avenue tunnels which would run along Chrystie St. north and south of Grand Street for a few blocks. (See the Proposed Track Map, 2nd Avenue Subway, 1970s for the Grand Street track connections.) South of here, the likely route would be St. James Place, Pearl Street, Water Street to Whitehall Street terminal; or a connection to the unused Manhattan Bridge approach from Nassau Street (which would provde a lower Manhattan terminal without any lower Manhattan construction).
  • Second Ave, from 2nd St to 9th St, 2 tracks. Rumors about this particular section claim alternatively that this section was filled back in after excavation; or that it wasn't excavated at all and that the only work actually performed was limited to utility relocation in the area.
  • Second Ave, from 99th St to 105th St, 2 tracks.
  • Second Ave, from 110th St to 119th St, 2 tracks.
  • In addition to those four contracts, bellmouths for the connections at 63rd Street were incorporated into the construction of the 63rd Street Tunnel Proposed Track Map, 2nd Avenue Subway, 1970s. It is unknown how much was actually built, but the bellmouths are clearly visible from trains passing through the 63rd Street Tunnel.

None of these sections included the stations, which were to be located near these segments at 96th-99th St., 105th St., and 125th St. In 2003, the MTA resumed planning and environmental analysis for a full-length Second Avenue Subway, from 125th Street to the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, with construction planned to begin by the end of 2004. Presumably the 63rd St. Tunnel to 125th Street portion would be completed first to provide some crowding relief for the Lexington IRT services.

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