It was proposed in the first half of the 20thÂ century to reduce congestion on the already inundated Lexington AvenueÂ line.
And decades later, after decades of red tape,Â the Second Avenue subway is taking form.
In a series of photos posted by theÂ MTA, deep caverns can be seen
These stunning pictures provide a unique lookÂ into the caverns below Manhattan’s Upper East Side, as workers below burrow,Â build, and blast the subway line into existence.
The MTA workers are busy at work hundreds ofÂ feet below the surface of Manhattan; these intriguing photographs show theÂ progress along the northern reaches of the line, from 96th St to 63rdÂ St.
The 63rd St Station is being expanded toÂ accommodate the new trains; as it stands, the F train stops at the station rightÂ before it passes into Queens.
Photographs show MTA workers in orange vestsÂ sawing plywood and welding metal at the station, which still looks quiteÂ skeletal, though signal switches have been installed, as well as a few famousÂ Helvetica-scripted signs.
One stop north at the 72nd St Station, theÂ construction is in a more infant — and messy — state. One picture shows a smallÂ work shed next to a very muddy platform. Crews are currently working on coveringÂ the raw bedrock of the expansive cavern.
Bright yellow tarps can be seen throughoutÂ the station covering the top of the cavern.
The unique bedrock of the island is both aÂ blessing and a curse to crews, as it is remarkably tough, providing the perfectÂ foundation for tunnels, but also making it a laborious task to bargeÂ through.
Construction of the subway was put off by oneÂ thing after another, as world events like the Great Depression and World War IIÂ threw a wrench in the city’s plans.
Planning for the current SAS line began inÂ 2004, with the groundbreaking happening on April 12, 2007. When complete, theÂ line will run from 125th St in Harlem, down through the Upper East Side,Â Midtown, downtown, and terminating in the Financial District at Hanover Square.
It will serve to reduce congestion andÂ dangerous overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue line, which typically runsÂ atÂ 120 percent capacity.
When completed, the line will likely beÂ designated the letter T, and designated a turquoise color.Â