A Dream in the Deep: A Look Underground into New York’s Second Avenue Subway Project
While more than a million passengers crowd onto New York City’s Lexington Avenue subway line each weekday, the only trunk line to the east of Central Park in Manhattan, a $17 billion dollar dream is slowly unfolding beneath the cold earth and rock just to the east. Proposed in 1929, the Second Avenue Subway Line was first postponed due to the Great Depression. World War II pushed the project further away still. As New York’s population continued to grow, so too did the need for another subway line. Following the war, in 1945 the city began to plan again, even buying a prototype train in 1949 to use on the new line. The years continued to pass and in 1951 and again in 1967 New York voters approved bond acts for construction, but it wasn’t until 1972 that digging began. As luck would have it, New York City soon ran out of money in a few short years during a financial crisis and construction came to a halt with only three sections of the tunnel completed.
Decades later, progress is finally underway once more. While city construction projects are not the typical fare of LetsBeWild.com, we love caves, caverns, and urban exploration – and though man-made, this colossal project is certainly worth marvelling at. In these uniquely beautiful pictures below, taken by Metropolitan Transportation Authority staff photographer Patrick Cashin, we’re transported to a strange, damp world below the earth as workers move millions of cubic feet of earth. In December of 2016, New York’s 2nd Avenue Subway Tunnel is scheduled to open – more than 80 years after the project was conceived.