MANHATTAN — The federal government will not go back on its promise of contributing more than $300 million over the next two years to help complete the Second Avenue subway’s first phase, a congressman told New Yorkers Tuesday.
Florida Rep. John Mica, who chairs the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Upper East Side Rep. Carolyn Maloney toured the recently completed tunnel for the first phase of the project that will stretch from East 63rd to 96th Street and is expected to be completed by December 2016.
After the tour, Mica said he would help ensure the federal government will meet its promised $1.3 billion in funding obligations, Maloney's office stated.
MTA officials noted that the transit authority was on track to open the first phase of the subway as scheduled, but said it was short $40 million in federal money this year because of House budget cuts, NY1 reported.
"On its first day of operation, the new subway will carry roughly 202,000 people per day — more than the transit systems of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco combined, and ease the pressure on the Lexington Avenue line, the most overcrowded subway in America," the congresswoman said in a statement.
The subway's full length is eventually expected to stretch more than 8 miles, from 125th Street down to Hanover Square in lower Manhattan.
Mica said he hopes the next phases could also be funded, as part of a six-year transportation bill.
“For the benefit of other major transportation and infrastructure projects like the Second Avenue Subway, and the stability needed to undertake these kinds of projects around the country, it is essential that Congress complete a 6-year transportation bill as soon as possible,” Mica said in a statement.