As we prepare to ring in the new year, we would like to highlight some projects that will reshape area transportation and ease the way for thousands of commuters. One improvement will be ready for use as early as January 1st, when the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway opens. Others should be evident a little later in the year—emotive lighting on bridges and tunnels and the north span of the new Tappan Zee Bridge. One change is already in place—remnants of a World Trade Center passageway dating to the 1970s.
The HAKS Family wishes you and yours a happy and healthy 2017. Safe travels.
Second Avenue Subway Ready for New Year
According to Governor Cuomo, New Yorkers will be able to ride the long-awaited Second Avenue Subway on January 1st. The first major expansion of the subway system in more than 50 years will have its inaugural run on New Year’s Eve, with revenue service beginning the next day. All three phase one new stations—72nd, 86th and 96th streets—will open at the same time, as well as a transfer to 63rd Street/Lexington Avenue, to be served by an extension of the Q line. The first phase is estimated to serve 200,000 riders daily, and decrease overcrowding and delays on the Lexington Avenue Line by as much as 13%. The second phase will run from 96th to 125th streets.
The proposed full 8.5-mile line is to encompass 16 new stations serving Harlem, the Upper East Side, East Midtown, Gramercy Park, the East Village, the Lower East Side, Chinatown and Lower Manhattan.
World Trade Center Passageway Restored
A “time capsule” now links the New York subway Chambers Street Station with the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub in Lower Manhattan. The passageway is a remnant of the original concourse dating from the 1970s, restored by The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey as part of the new transportation hub and shopping mall. The passageway was closed after September 11, 2001, reopened after a few years, and closed again to allow construction of the hub.
The travertine flooring, handrails, steps, ramp, doors and overhead signs in the Chambers Street corridor are all from the original concourse. One door encased in protective glass is a reminder of the tragedy that occurred here: it reads “MATF 1” and “9 13” to signal that the area was searched by the Massachusetts Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team two days after the attacks.
A Brighter New York
Just as we look to the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center to reflect special occasions via emotive lighting, colorful LED lights will soon adorn area bridges and tunnels as well. This renewed focus on public art will include tunnel plazas and gantry structures. LED lights use 40 to 80 percent less power and last six times longer than other types of roadway lighting and can be programmed into different colors and patterns.
The New York Crossings Project encompasses all seven MTA-operated bridges and its two tunnels, including the George Washington Bridge operated by The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. The lighting will illuminate iconic crossings with multi-colored light shows, transforming them into international tourist attractions. LED installations are set to begin this January. To learn more, see video.
New Tappan Zee Bridge Milestone
The Tappan Zee Bridge, crossing the Hudson River between Tarrytown in Westchester County and South Nyack in Rockland County, was planned during Korean War austerity and built in 1952-55 on a shoestring budget. It was designed to last for just 50 years and to handle considerably less than the 138,000 vehicles that currently traverse it daily.
Construction commenced in 2013, and the north span of the new Tappan Zee Bridge (the New NY Bridge) is due to open to traffic in mid-to-late 2017 carrying eight lanes of traffic. Once this happens, demolition will commence on the old bridge. When the south span is completed sometime in 2018, both spans will include four regular lanes, an HOV lane, a bus lane, and full shoulders. The bridge will also include a 20-foot-wide pedestrian walkway. The completed bridge will comprise parallel three-mile-long structures, each with 1,200-foot cable-stayed main spans. The design-build consortium for this project is working closely with the New York State Thruway Authority and the New York State Department of Transportation.