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2 MTA projects late, over budget, feds say

Two of the cash-strapped MTA's mega projects are way behind schedule and over budget, according to a federal government review.

The East Side Access project, which will extend LIRR service to Grand Central Terminal, is running 18 months behind and $800 million over budget, while the Second Avenue subway line may open more than a year late.

The Federal Transit Administration said the MTA needs to deal with cost and scheduling setbacks and make management changes, according to a report obtained by amNewYork.

Although the MTA maintains that East Side Access and the Second Avenue subway will be done by September 2016 and December 2016, respectively, the FTA puts the openings at April 2018 and February 2018. It would be quite difficult for the East Side Access project to finish on time, the feds said, adding that costs could balloon from $7.3 billion to $8.1 billion. While the MTA projects the Second Avenue subway will cost $4.4 billion, the FTA puts the price tag at $4.8 billion.

Bill Henderson of the MTA's Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee said although the Second Avenue subway has made up some lost time, the East Side Access project may be in bad shape. "I think they've got some serious issues to deal with and I don't know if they can do it," Henderson said.

-- MARC BEJA

For now, NYC off hook for reservoir cover

New York City will not be required to build a $1.6 billion concrete cover over a Yonkers reservoir that holds city-bound water while federal environmental regulators review whether it's needed, an Environmental Protection Agency letter says.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Sunday he had received the letter Friday, and both he and the EPA made copies available to the media.

The federal rules would not require the 90-acre cover to be built until 2028, but the EPA said it would conduct its review expeditiously.

EPA officials did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

-- AP

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