96th Street (Second Avenue Subway)

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96th Street
under construction
Future New York City Subway rapid transit station
96th St Station (Jan. 2016).PNG
Station cavern construction in January 2016
Station statistics
Address 96th Street & Second Avenue
New York, NY 10021
Borough Manhattan
Locale Upper East Side, Yorkville
Coordinates 40°47′03″N 73°56′50″W / 40.7841°N 73.9472°W / 40.7841; -73.9472Coordinates: 40°47′03″N 73°56′50″W / 40.7841°N 73.9472°W / 40.7841; -73.9472
Division B (IND)
Line       IND Second Avenue Line
Services under construction
Transit connections Bus transport NYCT Bus: M15 (SB), M15 SBS (SB), M96
Structure Underground
Platforms 1 island platform
Tracks 2
Other information
Opened December 30, 2016; 9 months' time (2016-12-30)[1][2][3] (Planned)
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Station succession

Next Handicapped/disabled access north (Terminal): under construction
Next Handicapped/disabled access south 86th Street: under construction

96th Street is an under-construction station on the first phase of the Second Avenue Line of the New York City Subway.[4][5][6] It is the planned northern terminus for the Q train during the 1.5 miles (2.4 km)-long[7] Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway;[8][9] the Q is expected to be rerouted from its current terminus at Astoria – Ditmars Boulevard so it can end at 96th Street.[10] The station is planned to open on December 30, 2016,[1][2][3][11] and it will have two tracks and an island platform.[5]

Station layout (future)[edit]

G Street level Exits/Entrances
B1 Upper Mezzanine Fare control, station agent, MetroCard vending machines
Escalators, elevator, and stairs to Exits/Entrances and lower mezzanine
B2 Lower Mezzanine Staircases and elevators to platform
Platform level
Southbound No service (present)
NYCS-bull-trans-Q.svg (under construction) toward Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue (86th Street)
Island platform, not in service
Southbound No service (present)
NYCS-bull-trans-Q.svg (under construction) toward Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue (86th Street)
Station construction in October 2013

The station is built so that it is more wide open than most other underground subway stations in the system.[12] Its design was likened to a Washington Metro station by Dr. Michael Horodniceanu.[13]

The station will have air-cooling systems to make it at least 10 °F (6 °C) cooler than other subway stations during the summer.[14] This will require the station to have large ventilation and ancillary buildings, rather than traditional subway grates.[15] The station will also be compliant with current fire codes, whereas most existing stations are not.[16]

Track layout[edit]

South of the station will be a diamond crossover for terminating trains.[17] A section of tunnel north of the station, built in the 1970s between 99th and 105th streets,[18] is being renovated with tail tracks and will be used for train storage north of the 96th Street station.[19] It is located at a depth of 15 metres (49 ft), making the station the shallowest on Phase 1 of the line.[20]


Station artwork will be a series of artworks on the porcelain wall panels by artist Sarah Sze.[21][22] The artwork will contain blue, violet, and lavender landscapes.[23][24] The installation is expected to be permanent.[25]

Entrances, exits, and ancillary buildings[edit]

Construction of entrance 2 in October 2015

There are 3 entrances and exits under construction, comprising 10 escalators and one elevator. Also under construction are also two ancillary buildings that will store station equipment.[26][27]

Location Exit Type Number of exits
Entrance 1
Within building, SW corner of Second Avenue and 94th Street
Entrance 2
Plaza, NE corner of Second Avenue and 94th Street
Entrance 3
Second Avenue, west side between 95th Street and 96th Street
Elevator Handicapped/disabled access 1
Entrance 3
Plaza, SW corner of Second Avenue and 96th Street

In addition, the station has 2 ancillaries. Ancillary 1 is at the northeast corner of Second Avenue and 93rd Street, while ancillary 2 is at the SW corner of Second Avenue and 97th Street.[26][27]

In 2009, there were disputes about the locations of the station entrances, which were all south of 96th Street,[28] which divided the neighborhoods of the Upper East Side and East Harlem.[29][30]



Muck handling on Second Avenue and 94th Street
Work above ground

A station under the intersection of Second Avenue and 96th Street was conceptualized as part of the New York City Transit Authority's 1968 Program for Action, which included the construction of the full-length Second Avenue Subway in two phases—the first phase from 126th to 34th Streets, the second phase from 34th to Whitehall Streets.[31] The first phase of the Program suggested a Second Avenue Subway line to be built between 34th and 126th streets.[32]

Many community representatives requested that a station, in addition to those already proposed, be constructed in the vicinity of 96th Street and Second Avenue, principally to serve the Metropolitan Hospital which provides medical service to large numbers of low-income patients.
After considering the testimony presented at the hearing, the New York City Transit Authority adopted a resolution providing for the construction of a station at 96th Street at a cost of approximately $10,000,000.[32]

Digging began in 1972 a few blocks north at Second Avenue and 103rd Street;[33] however, in 1975, the city became insolvent, and the Second Avenue Subway project was suspended indefinitely, with the tunnels sealed.[34]

In 1999, the Regional Plan Association considered a full-length Second Avenue Subway, which include 96th Street as one of its planned 31 stations. The station would serve the Metropolitan Hospital at 97th Street and the then-new high-rise buildings south of 96th Streets.[35]

Finally, in March 2007, the MTA restarted the Second Avenue Subway project, and awarded the first construction contract at that time.[36][37][38] In April 2007, the second round of planning for the station was finalized.[39][40]


Aerial view of construction

A ceremonial ground-breaking for the Second Avenue Subway was held on April 12, 2007 three blocks north of the station.[41][42] The contractor prepared the initial construction site at 96th Street on April 23, 2007.[43] A tunnel boring machine (TBM) was originally expected to arrive six to eight months after construction began, but the utility relocation and excavation required to create its "launch box" delayed its deployment from 96th Street down to 63rd Street until May 2010.[44] By May 2010, the TBM launch box was complete, and on May 14, 2010, MTA's contractors completed the TBM installation and turned it on.[45][46][47]

By the beginning of 2012, the slurry wall for the station site was being taken down.[48] On June 25, 2012, a $324.6 million contract was awarded to E.E. Cruz and Company and Tully Construction Company for the station's plumbing, electricity, ancillaries, and entrances.[49] In March 2013, the bulkhead separating the new construction from the 1970s-era tunnel at 99th Street was completed.[50] As of November 2013, the station is 65% excavated. Rails for the line had arrived and were being stored in the station cavern;[51][52] about one-third of the rails for the line had arrived by then, enough for tracks to be laid from 105th to 87th Streets.[53] By spring 2014, the mezzanine was completed, and roof slabs were being installed; tracks and signal brackets were also installed north of the station.[54] Waterproofing for the station is performed by D-Star Waterproofers.[55]

On March 19, 2013, a construction worker got stuck in waist-deep muck at the station site;[56][57] he was extricated after four hours of rescue efforts, but nearly died after the incident.[58][59]

As of April 2015, the station is 67% complete.[60]

The station is scheduled to be completed by June 3, 2016.[61] The station is planned to open on December 30, 2016, along with the other two stations on the Second Avenue Line.[1][2][3][11]


Construction has temporarily made the prices of real estate decrease to "affordable" levels.[62] However, in the long run, as a result of construction, the value of real estate in the area has risen since 2013.[63][64] Some businesses near the station's construction site have also lost profits.[65]

The Metropolitan Hospital Center, one block to the north of the station's northernmost entrance, would also be served by the new station.[66]


  1. ^ a b c Second Avenue Subway
  2. ^ a b c MTA.info—Second Avenue Subway Quarterly Report Q4 2013
  3. ^ a b c The Launch Box—Fewer Than 1,000 Days to Go!
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External links[edit]