Second Avenue Subway Project

The Second Avenue Subway will be New York City’s first major expansion of the subway system in over 50 years.  When fully completed, the line will stretch 8.5 miles along the length of Manhattan’s East Side, from 125th Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan.  In addition, a track connection to the existing 63rd Street and Broadway Lines will allow a second subway line to provide direct service from East Harlem and the Upper East Side to West Midtown via the Broadway express tracks.

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Under the current plan, the project will be built in four phases.

Phase 1 will include tunnels from 105th Street and Second Avenue to 63rd Street and Third Avenue, with new stations along Second Avenue at 96th, 86th and 72nd Streets and new entrances to the existing Lexington Av/63 Street Station at 63rd Street and Third Avenue.

Final Design for Phase One started in April 2006. The first construction contract was awarded in March 2007.

Phase 2: Construction will occur from 125th Street to 105th Street, including the utilization of an existing subway tunnel section from 110th – 120th Streets; subway service will be provided from 125th Street to West Midtown Manhattan and Brooklyn via a further extension of the Q train (Broadway Line).

Phase 3: Construction will occur from 72nd Street to Houston Street; subway service will continue to be provided by the Q train from 125th Street to West Midtown Manhattan and Brooklyn via the Broadway Line, as well as a new T train from 125th Street to Houston Street and 2nd Ave.

Phase 4: Construction will occur from Houston Street to Hanover Square; subway service will continue to be provided by the Q train from 125th Street to West Midtown Manhattan and Brooklyn via the Broadway Line, and via a southward extension of the T train to the Hanover Square station in Lower Manhattan.

Property Acquisition

Although the proposed Second Avenue Subway has been designed to follow the public right-of-way of city streets, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has identified numerous parcels or portion of parcels of land that will need to be acquired for the project.

Although many of the acquisitions will be on a temporary basis, there is need to acquire over 65 whole buildings, portions of buildings or vacant land for the construction of above ground ventilation structures, station entrances, emergency exits, ancillary facilities, ect.

Where acquisition of the entire building is proposed, it was found that the integrity of the structure is not sound enough to endure construction under or near the building.  The list of affected properties is contained within this document:

Property Acquisition for 2nd Ave Subway

New York Eminent Domain and Attorney Fee Recovery

Because this project serves a public purpose, the MTA will have the authority to use eminent domain to acquire property if a sale can not be reached amicably.  Property owners who are undergoing eminent domain in New York have rights that can not be taken from them if they assert them.

For example, NY EM DOM PROC § 701 states that in instances where the final award is substantially greater than the condemning authority’s offer of payment, the court may, upon application and in its discretion, award the property owner an additional amount for costs and attorney’s fees. The expenses must be incurred to achieve just and adequate compensation.

This means that in some cases, a property owner can hire a New York eminent domain attorney to assist them with obtaining just compensation without having to pay attorneys fees.  Also, under this same statute, the costs that the property owner incurs will be reimbursed as well.

If you are a property owner affected by eminent domain, the first thing you should do is learn about your rights and the process.  Learn more about Eminent Domain in New York.

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