-- Second Avenue Subway, 1970s Harlem Segment | LTV Squad

Second Avenue Subway, 1970s Harlem Segment

Published on: October 29th, 2008 | Last updated: November 4, 2015 Written by:

When we arrived at this tunnel, it had never been photographed before. Only a few daredevil graffiti artists even knew it existed, and everyone was tight lipped about how to get in. Make no mistake – getting in was a challenge, but we don’t do this because it’s always easy.

This tunnel is one of two sections of the Second Avenue Subway built in the 1970s. It runs 10 blocks under Harlem. It is suppose to be included in Phase 2 of the second avenue subway project (the first phase, from 63rd to 96th streets, is supposed to open in 2016). The end of Phase 2 is suppose to be 125 street, so this portion of tunnel is hugely significant – and should mean that phase 2 is built quickly. Of course, I somehow doubt that will happen. It’s impossible to follow NYC’s infrastructure projects and not be very skeptical of when, or even if, they will be completed.

All of that said, here’s a quick look at this tunnel.














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NOTE: Argumentative comments completely devoid of facts (supply links to support your arguement) will not be published.

3 responses to “Second Avenue Subway, 1970s Harlem Segment”

  1. Union Tpke says:

    Hi, thanks for the pictures. Apparently, the MTA as part of Phase 2 will be destroying the whole section and wasting money. http://web.mta.info/capital/sas_pdf/Community%20Board%2011%20Presentation%204.5.16%20Final.pdf

    I think that you would agree that they should just use the existing segment and have a center island platform.

  2. Chris says:

    Sadly, there may be good logic in destroying the whole section and rebuilding. The MTA has committed to making all new stations ADA compliant, and wants to install air conditioning (if possible, as I understand things) as part of the design. Segments built in the 1970’s did not have these requirements, and likely can not be used. Interstaton segments may not be deep (or shallow) enough to connect with the line now in use. So, we must ask why the segments can’t be used as is before destroying them.

  3. George says:

    The existing tunnel will only be unused as is and demolished through the 106 Street station area. That was built with a middle siding only as provision between the mains 1 and 2 and not originally intended to be a station site.

    As designed in the 1960’s, the Phase 2 segment to be reused was only to have a middle siding after departing an Uptown station site (I’m guessing that was the present 96th Street), then after that a station a stop at 116th Street, then ultimately head north toward the Bronx. The actual stations projected for south of and north of the short piece that was built through East Harlem were never begun. The terminal at 125 & Lexington represents a major (post-2001) revision to the route as originally projected. In time it would appear to preclude the long-projected extension of this line into the Bronx, as was anticipated since its 1920’s conception.

    When the Second Avenue Subway misfired in the 1970’s, the city and world were a lot different. There wasn’t a lot of planning energy expended on its passage through East Harlem, which was then in sharp decline, and a minimum of concern about construction impacts on urban life as there is now. That, I would proffer, is why that particular segment was actually built early on. By 2020, the streetscape above this zone will be almost completely changed and transformed socially!

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  • About The Author

    Bad Guy Joe

    Bad Guy Joe
    Bad Guy Joe knows more about the NYC underground than anyone else on or below the surface of this planet. He has spent nearly 30 years sneaking into NYC's more forbidden locations. When not underground, he's probably bitching about politicians or building something digital. 
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