New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials and other local leaders took a ceremonial first ride on the extension of the 7 Subway line, terminating at the new subway station located at 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue in Manhattan.
The 7 Subway Extension is the first extension funded by the New York City in more than 60 years and will provide New Yorkers and visitors with a link to Manhattan’s Far West Side. The last extension financed by the city opened in December of 1950, when the Queens Boulevard line was extended to Jamaica-179th Street. The $2.4-billion project is scheduled to be completed in the summer 2014.
“Today’s historic ride is yet another symbol of how New York City has become a place where big projects can get done,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This project is the linchpin of an ambitious transit-oriented, mixed-use development that is already transforming Manhattan’s Far West Side, and it demonstrates our Administration’s commitment over the past 12 years to invest in infrastructure that will allow our city to grow for generations to come.”
“When we complete construction on this project next summer, the West Side will be connected to the rest of this vibrant city and will be just a train ride away,” said Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, President of MTA Capital Construction.
Construction of the extension began in December 2007. For the first time in New York City, tunnel boring machines (TBMs) were used to mine the subway tunnels. Two Herrenknecht manufactured TBMs, named after Mayor Bloomberg’s daughters Emma and Georgina, burrowed 9,285 feet from Eleventh Avenue and 26th Street to Times Square. Tunneling between 34th Street and Times Square presented unique challenges, as the subway will run under the existing Eighth Avenue Subway, Amtrak/NJ Transit tunnels, as well as tunnels to the former New York Central Line, the Lincoln Tunnel and the Port Authority Bus Terminal and ramps. To create the new station cavern below 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue, the contractor used controlled drill-and-blast. Work will continue into next year to complete full signal and power installation.