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Funding wrangle delays New York subway start

Construction of New York’s $16bn Second Avenue Subway project faces a one year delay because of funding hitches, operator MTA said this week.

MTA had planned to start building phase one early this year, but its head of capital construction confirmed this week that getting the necessary funding would delay this for at least 12 months.

New York State is dragging its feet over its 50% contribution to the project budget even though federal government cash has been secured for the other 50%.

MTA is now considering the use of private finance to kick start the project by filling a gap between state and federal government funding.

When complete the Second Avenue Subway will run 13km down the west side of Manhattan.

Phase one will run from 96 th street on the Upper West Side to 72 nd street, where it will connect to the existing Q line. This will be followed by a northern section and two southern sections.

“We are competing with ourselves (for finance),” MTA Capital Construction president Mysor Nagaraja told delegates at NCE’s Megatunnels conference last month.

MTA is also seeking funding for the $5.94bn East Side Access rail link between Manhattan and Long Island, the $392M South Ferry Terminal and the $1.8bn Line 7 extension. Work has just begun on the first of six packages on the $711M Fulton Street interchange in lower Manhattan.

Nagaraja said that MTA needed $19.8bn in state funding over the next five years, to keep the New York City subway operational as well as the money for Second Avenue.

Plans were being examined to harness fare revenues from the new line to underpin bank loans to contractors building the line, he said.

He is also looking at harnessing development rights on land near the subway route.

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