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Eyeing Second Avenue Subway's Phase I completion

The long-awaited first phase of the Second Avenue subway is on schedule to be completed by the MTA's December 2016 target, according to a progress report released Monday by Rep. Carolyn Maloney's office.

The report card gives the overall project a B+, an improvement from last year's B, which reflects the completion of the two-mile subway tunnel, the awarding of all the contracts for the first phase and the end of underground blasting this summer.

"For the past four years, they have kept the deadline," Maloney told reporters at East 72nd Street and Second Avenue. "Their final grade is a B+, so they're pretty much on track."

The first leg of the subway line, costing $4.5 billion, will extend the Q train on the East Side between 96th and 63rd streets.

Despite the progress, there were areas where Maloney felt the MTA needs improvement. Maloney gave the agency a "gentleman's C" for progress on station entrances and ancillary facilities -- a bump from the C- given in 2011. According to Maloney, crews have access to only the 96th Street station, slated to be completed in summer 2014.

Meanwhile, the MTA received a C- on Maloney's report card for impact of construction work, saying the agency had failed to anticipate problems such as dust and has invested "relatively little" to improving the look of the construction sites.

"The congresswoman's report card acknowledges our successful and continuing efforts to help mitigate the impact of construction on residents and businesses and the progress made as we get closer to the completion of the Second Avenue Subway," the MTA said in a statement.

Areas where the MTA has improved since Maloney's 2011 progress report include better communication with the public (A-), construction management (B+) and keeping the budget and completion date steady (B).

Maloney was confident that the remaining portion of the $1.3 billion in federal money committed to the project will be appropriated.

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