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Second Avenue Subway Phase 2

About the project

Building on the success of Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway, which opened for service January 1, 2017, Phase 2 is currently underway with teams advancing preliminary design and engineering.

Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway is a transportation option that is long overdue for the residents and businesses of East Harlem. The area has been a virtual transit desert ever since the Second Avenue EL Train stopped service above 57th Street in 1940. Phase 2 will extend service north from 96th Street to 125th Street, will create two stations on Second Avenue at 106th and 116th Streets, and will create another station at 125th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues. Phase 2 will improve mobility for commuters and residents of East Harlem, improve reliability, and reduce crowding along the Lexington Avenue line.

Phase 2 benefits

  • Approximately 300,000 riders daily on Phases 1 and 2 combined
  • Increased multimodal transit connectivity at the 125th Street station—with connections to the , Metro-North trains, and M60 Select Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport

  • A one-seat ride from East Harlem to the Upper East Side and West Midtown, a connection to the Financial District, and to Coney Island on the Broadway line

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Second Avenue Subway map

Project status

The project received all federal environmental approvals (NEPA) in November 2018. The MTA is now working with the FTA to advance the project within the New Starts Program for federal funding, which will be supplemented by local funds.

The project team has started survey work to map all underground utilities and document geological conditions. The MTA is evaluating and incorporating value engineering and other strategies to contain the cost of the project.

The project requires the MTA to acquire a handful of properties, needed for constructing stations and ancillary facilities, and launching tunnel-boring equipment. The process to acquire these properties is underway, and public hearings will be scheduled as appropriate. 

A public hearing on the first tranche of properties to be acquired was held in March of 2021, and subsequent public hearings will be scheduled as appropriate.

Construction methods and process

As part of the design process, various construction techniques are being considered to build the project.

Due to the geological profile along Second Avenue, the 106 Street and 116 Street stations will be built using the cut-and-cover construction method. The 116th Street station will be built in an area where an existing tunnel segment was constructed in the 1970s. A portion of this tunnel will need to be reconstructed to build a new station and the rest will be renovated.

The terminal station at 125 Street and Lexington Avenue will be built using mined and cut-and-cover methods as needed.

Environmental review

As required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires environmental review for projects seeking federal funding, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and MTA completed an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the entire project. We have also completed a Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA) evaluating the impacts of Phase 2, which was presented to the public and for which we conducted a 30-day public comment period.

Read the Environmental Impact Statement and the Supplemental Environmental Assessment

Community outreach

We are committed to keeping the public engaged, informed, and educated about the project, evidence of this commitment is that fact that we established a community outreach presence in September 2017, years before construction is set to get underway.

To date we have delivered over 100 presentations to East Harlem Elected Officials, Stakeholders, Community Based Organizations, and business and neighborhood groups. This includes creating Second Avenue Subway specific content for inclusion in the STEM-based curriculum of schools along the project alignment.

The Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center (CIC) at 69 East 125th Street (between Park & Madison Avenues) mirrors the highly successful CIC opened during Phase 1, which welcomed over 25,000 visitors.

Like its predecessor, the Phase 2 CIC offers rotating exhibits and programming about the history and construction of the Second Avenue Subway. The center serves as a one-stop shop where residents, businesses, stakeholders, and the general public can ask questions, learn more about the project, and bring issues of concern to the project staff.

A Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 Environmental Assessment Public Comment Meeting was held in East Harlem on July 31, 2018. A brief project status update was given (can be found in the documents listed above), the public had a chance to enter comments in to record either verbally or in writing, and various elected officials, elected official’s representatives, and East Harlem advocacy groups turned out to speak in support of the project.

The MTA was awarded a Finding of no Significant Impact (FONSI), by the FTA in November of 2018. The FONSI was issued after an extensive update of the original Environmental Impact Statement prepared in 2004. The finding means that changes to the design of the project since that time were found to have no additional significant adverse impact on the environment in the construction area.

The Second Avenue Subway project includes:

  • Service extending 8.5 miles along Manhattan's East Side - from 125 Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan
  • 16 new stations serving communities including East Harlem, the Upper East Side, East Midtown, Gramercy Park, East Village, the Lower East Side, Chinatown and Lower Manhattan
  • Modern ADA-accessible station amenities, raising the bar for customer comfort and convenience
  • Convenient transfers to other subway and commuter rail lines - facilitating smoother, faster transportation across the city and the region

Contact us

For community related concerns, questions or additional information, please contact the Community Outreach Team.

Outreach@mtacd.org