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MTA Approves Additional Funds To Speed Up 2nd Avenue Subway Construction

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board has approved spending an additional $66 million for four contracts to speed up construction on the Second Avenue subway.

Construction on the $4.5 billion project began in 2007, and MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast expects the first section — extending from 63rd Street up to 96th Street — to open on time in December.

"It's very realistic," Prendergast said. "It's also essential that we focus on that date for a number of reasons, not just the least of which is we've committed to that date."

Prendergast said the first phase of the project will help offload the surging ridership on the Lexington Avenue line.

"The sooner we can do that, the better," Prendergast said. "There's a laser focus and considerable pressure paid on internal efforts and external efforts through contractors to get that done on time."

Last November, the MTA said the second phase of the project — which would extend the line up to 125th Street in East Harlem — will be delayed beyond 2019.

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