Governor Kathy Hochul on Jan. 22 announced that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has awarded the first construction contract for the extension of the Second Avenue Subway from 96 Street to 125 Street in Harlem to C.A.C. Industries, Inc. a family-owned heavy civil contractor based in New York City, specializing in infrastructure projects. The initial $182 million award is for the first component of the Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 project, which will finally deliver subway service to residents of East Harlem, one of the most transit-dependent neighborhoods in New York City.
“We’re moving full speed ahead to extend the Second Avenue Subway to East Harlem, expanding transit access for thousands of New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. “This critical milestone will put shovels in the ground for the next phase of this transformative project. East Harlem has dreamed of transit access for decades – and we’re committed to getting the job done.”
This is the first of four construction contracts for the new line, which will extend the train from 96 Street to 125 Street, serving more than 100,000 average daily riders and building three new ADA-accessible stations for the East Harlem community. The contract will relocate underground utilities from 105 Street to 110 Street on Second Avenue at the site of the future 106 Street Station, in order to facilitate the subsequent cut-and-cover construction of the station.
New York City has some of the most complex underground utilities networks in the world – much of which is unmapped – which can add delays and costs once projects are underway. Advancing utility relocation ahead of station and tunnel construction is a major lesson learned from Phase 1 of Second Avenue Subway, which will help to reduce unnecessary costs and delays on Phase 2 of the project.
MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, “Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway will change lives and expand opportunities by bringing transit equity to the East Harlem community who have waited decades for this. The expansion of the Second Avenue Subway will get more than 100,000 daily riders to jobs, education and recreation not only in the city but throughout the region.”
MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer said, “The MTA is implementing valuable lessons learned from past projects into Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway, and this contract reflects our new approach by proactively relocating utilities upfront. Improving this process will help deliver this project more efficiently and provide residents of East Harlem with increased transportation options better, faster, and cheaper than before.”
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, “I fought tooth and nail to ensure that the Bipartisan infrastructure and jobs law made historic investments in transit, and because of that, the federal government committed to $3.4 Billion for the Second Avenue Subway project this fall. I am proud to see that work on the project is advancing to the next contract. The Second Avenue Subway project will expand the subway in East Harlem and beyond, connecting thousands of riders to jobs, school, entertainment, friends, family and new opportunities.”
U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand said, “This federal investment will make a real difference in the lives of East Harlem residents, and I’m very pleased that Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway project is moving forward. The expansion of the Second Avenue Subway line will ease commute times, reduce congestion, create local jobs, and connect the community more seamlessly with the rest of the city. I’m proud to have worked to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that provided the funding to make projects like this possible, and I’ll keep fighting for resources for New York’s straphangers.”
Representative Jerrold Nadler said, “The announcement of today’s first construction contract for the Second Avenue Subway extension marks a pivotal step towards eliminating the longstanding transit desert facing the residents of East Harlem. I’m proud to have been a steadfast advocate for this project since its inception, which will build new opportunities and connections for residents and commuters on the East Side alike.”
Representative Adriano Espaillat said, “Today’s announcement is a significant milestone culminating the progress we have made towards completion of the Second Avenue Subway. I am proud to have helped usher the federal full funding grant agreement which made today’s announcement possible. This $187 million contract brings our efforts one step further to bringing this project to fruition by ensuring the necessary underground infrastructure to deliver this transit option to hundreds of thousands of residents in East Harlem and across the region. I commend Governor Hochul, MTA Chairman Lieber, and all who worked to make today’s announcement possible.”
State Senator Jose Serrano said, “The second phase of the Second Avenue Subway marks a significant step towards the much-anticipated enhancement of public transportation in New York City. This project provides East Harlem with three new ADA-accessible stations, establishes connections to the and Metro-North trains, and facilitates easier transfers to the M60 Select Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport. These new features not only create more public transportation options for East Harlem and the surrounding areas, but also contribute to the overall increased quality of life for the nearly 100,000 people who will ride the newly expanded line daily.”
State Senator Cordell Cleare said, “I am pleased that Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway is making progress and I look forward to the day when my constituents in East Harlem are finally able to experience true transportation connectivity and transit equity.”
Assemblymember Eddie Gibbs said, “This is a historic win for East Harlem! The start of the Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 project means we will finally deliver the long-awaited accessible train service to residents and visitors of East Harlem. Securing the first construction contract takes this project that will improve transportation accessibility, economic development, and community impact one step closer to reality. I am proud to work in partnership with Governor Hochul and the MTA to uplift, empower, and accommodate my fellow Harlemites in any way possible.”
Councilmember Yusef Salaam said, “Our city is one that requires access to all areas, especially the East Harlem community which has long been underserved. I’m elated that phase 2 is underway and over 100,000 Harlem residents will be on the way to transit equity.”
Manhattan CB11 Chair Xavier A. Santiago said, “The Second Avenue Subway expansion is a multi-generational project that my grandmother and father still recall to this day. The awarding of the first of many contracts will help deliver equitable transportation to many East Harlem residents. We look forward to the MTA listening closely and onboarding the community’s feedback at each stage to deliver a successful completion of Phase 2.”
Uptown Grand Central Board of Directors Chair Diane Collier said, “Uptown Grand Central is dedicated to transforming East 125th Street into a thriving corridor and creating a welcoming gateway to East Harlem. We are pleased to learn that the MTA has awarded the first of the many SAS Phase 2 contracts that will create opportunities for local hiring and small businesses in the community. We look forward to the potential that the Second Avenue Subway brings to build the vibrant transit hub that the people of Harlem deserve.”
Dr. Darlene Williams, President & CEO of Union Settlement said, “I am grateful to Governor Hochul for her unwavering commitment to phase two of the Second Avenue Subway. “I look forward to an equitable transit system, enhanced accessibility, and the overall economic development for the residents and small businesses of East Harlem.”
In July, the MTA also unveiled new conceptual renderings of the proposed stations for the extension, providing future riders with a first-ever glimpse into the potential station interior and exterior designs. The draft renderings are subject to further design development and are available here.
Revenue from congestion pricing will support $15 billion in funding for critical projects in the MTA’s current capital program, which includes Second Avenue Subway Phase 2.
As part of the MTA’s commitment to delivering key infrastructure projects better, faster, and cheaper, the first contract for Phase 2 incorporates lessons learned from Second Avenue Subway Phase 1. Addressing utility relocation requirements upfront will reduce the risk of unexpected costs or delays later as construction progresses. The first contract will also include temporary streetscape modifications that will be required during construction, including new bike lanes to replace those that will be impacted by construction on Second Avenue, and building remediation in preparation for future contracts for the new subway station at 106 Street.
Additional cost containment initiatives in Phase 2 include reuse of a tunnel segment that was built in the 1970s from 110 Street to 120 Street along Second Avenue, early real estate acquisition, adoption of best value contract structures like A+B contracts, reduction in back-of-house and ancillary space, and close coordination of contracts.
About Phase 2
The second phase of the project will extend train service from 96 Street north to 125 Street and then west on 125 Street to Park Avenue, approximately 1.5 miles in total. There will be two new stations at 106 Street and 116 Street on Second Ave, and a direct passenger connection with the existing 125 Street subway station on the Lexington Avenue subway line. Phase 2 will also feature an entrance at Park Avenue to allow convenient transfers to the Metro-North Railroad 125 Street Station.
Each station will have above-ground ancillary buildings that house ventilation, mechanical, and electrical equipment, as well as space for possible ground-floor retail and community uses. The expansion will serve an additional 100,000 daily riders and provide three new ADA accessible stations – raising the bar for customer comfort and convenience. Increased multimodal transit connectivity at the 125 Street station at Park Avenue with connections to the Metro-North trains and the M60 Select Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport, will allow for convenient transfers to other subway and commuter rail lines, facilitating smoother, faster transportation across the city and metropolitan region.
About Phase 1
Phase 1 of the project extended the line from 63 Street to 96 Street and was New York City’s largest expansion of the subway system in 50 years. Service opened on January 1, 2017, with additional stations at 72 Street and 86 Street. Since its completion, the Second Avenue Subway has carried more than 130 million passengers in total, including more than 200,000 passengers on a typical pre-pandemic day.