The Saga Of The Second Avenue Subway

<p>After plenty of false starts since first being proposed almost 90 years ago, the dream of building a $4 billion subway line under 2nd Avenue in Manhattan is gaining traction again.</p>
March 31, 2007, 7am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"Beloved, believed in, glimpsed fleetingly only to disappear again for decades, the Second Avenue subway has long seemed to be New York City's version of the Loch Ness monster. The plan has been on the drawing board since the year Babe Ruth hit his first home run for the Yankees-that is to say, since 1920, when it was envisioned as part of a massive subway expansion that brought us the IND, the trains that now run under Sixth and Eighth avenues. But the Second Avenue subway was derailed by the Great Depression, and despite a string of vigorous efforts, the plan just never got back on track.

That, however, may be about to change. The Second Avenue subway is surfacing again, and this time the vision of a new line just may finally be realized.

The project is suddenly enjoying a perfect storm of favorable circumstances. Peter Kalikow, the MTA's chairman, is committed to expanding the system in a way not seen since-well, not since Babe Ruth hit his first home run for the Yankees. Some of the money is already secured: The MTA has a quarter of the $4 billion or so it needs to launch the first leg. Meanwhile, federal officials are bullish on the plan, partly as a result of lobbying by Kalikow, a major GOP fund-raiser, and many believe the federal government will soon commit to paying at least a third of the first portion's price tag."

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Published on Thursday, March 29, 2007 in New York Magazine
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