By Jennifer R Jones | Posted on July 28, 2009 7:19 PM
Previously expected to be complete in 2012 and then in 2015, the long-anticipated subway running along Second Avenue on the East side of Manhattan has been delayed yet again, according to a yearlong review by the MTA of the ongoing construction. The Second Avenue subway line is now expected to open in July 2016, and possibly even in July 2017 if there are more delays. The first phase of construction is currently taking place from 96th Street to 63rd Street, a 1.7-mile route, with new stations at 96th, 86th and 72nd Streets. The plan is for the subway line to eventually stretch 8.5 miles from 125th Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in the Financial District. The cost of the new subway line is expected to increase to about $4.4 billion. Currently the 4/5/6 line is the only subway line like it running the length of the East side of Manhattan in New York City. The Second Avenue subway would benefit the community and the entire city once completed, and will reduce overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue line. The MTA is encouraging residents to shop Second Avenue businesses despite the temporary inconvenience of construction, which has in fact been hurting businesses, mainly in the East 90s. There are also concerns in the Upper East Side real estate market that the construction could deter potential buyers from purchasing properties east of Third Avenue, though once complete, the far East side will no doubt rise in value.