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Feds send MTA $274M for East Side Access, 2nd Avenue line

Construction workers tow water lines in the westbound

Construction workers tow water lines in the westbound cavern of the East Side Access. (Jan. 28, 2010) Photo Credit: CRAIG RUTTLE

More than $274 million in federal funds have been released to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the East Side Access and Second Avenue Subway projects, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Friday.

The money previously was allocated under the $787-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law by President Barack Obama in February 2009. The economic stimulus funds are being released now, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said.

The East Side Access project, awarded $195.4 million, will connect the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal. The Second Avenue Subway project, awarded $78.9 million, promises a new subway line to alleviate congestion on the Lexington Avenue subway line. The estimated cost of each project runs into the billions of dollars.

"The MTA is thankful to our congressional delegation for their support in securing federal funds for the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access, projects that will expand our transportation capacity and continue to create new jobs," Ortiz said. "The far-reaching economic impact of these two projects is essential for regional growth moving forward."

Schumer hailed the projects as necessary improvements for the region.

"This funding is a win-win for all New York straphangers," Schumer said in a news release. "Both East Side Access and the Second Avenue Subway will meet commuter needs that have existed for far too long here in New York. These funds will help Long Island and New York City improve transportation options and spur economic growth in the process."

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