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Second Ave. Subway Delays Cast Doubt on 2016 Completion, Consultant Says

By Lindsay Armstrong | June 27, 2014 4:07pm | Updated on June 30, 2014 8:50am
 The MTA says the project is still on target to open in December 2016.
The MTA says the project is still on target to open in December 2016.
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DNAinfo/James Fanelli

UPPER EAST SIDE — Delays on the Second Avenue Subway construction could push back the planned opening of the long-in-the-works project, according to a recent report by an independent engineering consultant.

In a report made public at an MTA committee meeting Monday, engineering consultant Kent Haggas expressed concerns about how delays on two sub-projects may affect the overall schedule before the slated December 2016 opening. 

The report noted that equipment rooms at the 72nd Street station are two to three months behind schedule, and that there there have been substantial delays in getting permanent electricity to all of the stations. Only some of that delayed time has been made up for by the MTA’s recent attempts to expedite the project, he said.

Haggas also said that about 25 issues engineers asked the MTA to address in December 2012 are still unresolved, and now there are dozens more.

“There’s certainly significant schedule risks that the project is carrying and additional contingency is needed to mitigate that,” Haggas said.

The MTA’s own section of the report noted that the delayed delivery of power equipment to the stations had the potential to set back the opening date.

However, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz insisted that the overall project is on schedule to open in December 2016.

The MTA reported on steps that its contractors have taken to mitigate the power delay, expediting the manufacturing of equipment for the 96th and 72nd Street stations.

“This is something we’re addressing,” Ortiz said in reference to the electrical issues. “The risk here is that it could impact the number of contingency days, but not the overall end date of the project.”

Contingency days are additional days built into the project to make up for delays.

If the project uses all of its contingency days, the MTA runs the risk of not launching the subway on time.

The MTA reported in March that delayed track work had cost the project more than 50 of its 102 contingency days, but by June the MTA said it had recovered those days, bringing the total back to 102.

Haggas said he could not verify that the MTA still had 102 contingency days left on the project.

“In our view, the schedule for the project is still in a rebuilding mode,” he told the committee. “We’ll wait until the recommended changes are put in place before we verify the actual contingency.”

The MTA did not respond to requests for comment regarding its current number of contingency days.