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Construction to Start on Second Avenue Subway's 86th Street Station

By Amy Zimmer | September 15, 2011 2:25pm
The Second Avenue subway construction site at East 87th Street.
The Second Avenue subway construction site at East 87th Street.
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MANHATTAN — More rumbling is coming to East 86th Street this month after the MTA awarded a  contract to build a Second Avenue subway station at East 86th Street, transportation authority officials announced on Thursday.

The $301 million contract — awarded to the firms Skanska USA and Traylor Bros Inc. — covers excavation, which means drilling and blasting bedrock, and then building the structure. The work will also include extensive demolition work and underpinning the existing buildings next to the construction site. 

Work is set to begin this month, and the project is scheduled to be completed by fall 2014, officials said.

"With this award we move one step closer to making the Second Avenue Subway a reality for our customers," Michael Horodniceanu, president of MTA Capital Construction, said in a statement.

“New Yorkers will soon have subway service on the Upper East Side, which will soon reduce overcrowding and delays on the Lexington Avenue line,” said Michael Viggiano, executive vice president of Skanska USA Civil Northeast, which won 70 percent of the contract for the East 86th Street station and is also part of the joint venture building the first phase of the new subway’s tunnel.

But the future station at East 86th Street hasn’t been without controversy.

The owners and tenants of the Yorkshire Towers at the corner of East 86th Street and Second Avenue filed a lawsuit in February to try and stop the MTA from putting two entrances for the station in front of their 21-story, 695-unit building. They claim the entrances would flood their sidewalk with nearly 3,600 passengers streaming in and out during the morning rush alone, according to their complaint.

The lawsuit is still pending.

The $4.5 billion project to build the first phase of the Second Avenue subway will also have new stations at East 96th and East 72nd streets. The three stations are expected to open by December 2016.

But the contracts for finishing the stations have yet to be awarded and there have been some questions about whether the MTA will have enough funds to award these remaining contracts.

An MTA official had told Community Board 8's Second Avenue Subway Task Force in June he was concerned about whether the agency would be able to fulfill those contracts.

"We have put forward a proposal to fund the last three years of MTA Capital Program, including Second Avenue Subway awards to be made in 2012 and 2013 for the three station finishes contracts," an MTA spokesman said Thursday.