CONSTRUCTION of New York’s long-planned Second Avenue subway line is expected to get underway in 2004, following the MTA board’s award of a US$200m engineering design contract to DMJM + Harris on November 27.

Taking up to 15 years to build, at an estimated cost of US$12bn, the 12·9 km Second Avenue line would run from 125th Street in Harlem to lower Manhattan, with 15 stations. MTA has allocated an initial tranche of US$1bn in its next five-year capital plan, and hopes to negotiate further funding from the state and federal governments.

New York City Transit was expected to decide by the end of December whether to build a new tunnel for Lines 1 and 9 in lower Manhattan, instead of rebuilding the collapsed route under the World Trade Center. The tunnel would curve west at Vesey Street and then turn south under West Street to Battery Park, with one intermediate station at Liberty Street. The stations at Cortlandt Street, Rector Street and the South Ferry terminus would be abandoned.

CAPTION: OnDecember 4 NYCT began acceptance testing with the first eight-car set of Class R143 subway cars being supplied by Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. Equipped for transmission-based train control, the 212 cars will be used on the L-Canarsie line, which is the pilot for NYCT resignalling