A Look at Down Under the UES

The Upper East Side has been pretty torn up for most of the time I’ve lived here because of the Second Avenue Subway project , which is creating a second subway line along the east side of Manhattan. There’s no doubt that there has been a need for the project since the 4,5,6 subway lines are some of the busiest in the city during rush hour. In fact, the project was initially proposed in 1929. Let me repeat, 1929! You mean to tell me that New Yorkers had a need for a second line on the east side in 1929 and no ground was broken on the project until the 2000’s? Yep, that’s exactly what that means. Of course there were some valid reasons why the project was delayed. 

The first time around, it was the Great Depression. Priorities tend to change when the economy plummets and this project was quickly put on hold. By the time 1945 rolled around the city was ready to go into planning mode on the project again, but not much progress was made until approval of bond acts in 1951 and 1967. Once passed though, the city decided again to put the project on hold and use the money for other uses on the system. 

The most recent pick-up of the project was approved in 2005 when New York State passed the Transportation Bond Act. The ground-breaking ceremony took place in 2007 and after further delays, construction has been going strong since spring of 2010 with an expected finish date of sometime in 2016. I won’t hold my breath on that date if the project’s past is any sign of it’s future though!

Nonetheless, the construction works have been going at it hard everyday to finally make the project a reality and ease some of the east side’s metro stress. You can hear the dynamite going off every now and then, but other than a mess being made of second avenue, you can’t really actually see what’s going on with the project. That was until now thanks to Fast Company! Here is a look at what is going on down under!