NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - "The first bond for the Second Avenue Subway was issued in the 30s," said MTA chairman and CEO Tom Prendergast.
Before the start of 2017, enough MTA storylines were provided to captivate, frustrate, and occasionally please riders without reminding them of the agency's impending deadline to finish work beneath the avenue it tore up 7 years ago.
The nation's largest transit-authority opened its $2.4 billion-dollar "Hudson Yards" station in the city's next manufactured neighborhood in fall 2015.
By early spring of 2016, the MTA’s first new subway station in 25 years started to leak and stain and riders to slip and grumble all apparently thanks to cheap concrete.
Tunnel repairs on the A/C line shut down weekend service between Brooklyn and Manhattan for 40 weekends. Starting in July, tunnel repairs on the 2/3 line promised to do the same in early 2017, and seemingly few people complained.
The threat of more significant tunnel-repairs and closures on the "L" enraged all of Williamsburg and prompted a series of still-ongoing public-comment sessions.
However, at the end of July, the MTA announced it still planned to close the L-train tunnel for a full year and a half - forcing 225,000 daily-riders to find alternate routes under or over the East River.
"They're a little ‘loosey-goosey,’ and when they're ‘loosey-goosey,’ usually that means you're going to get the short end of the stick," said one commuter.
Throughout all of this, work continued not only on the 2nd Avenue extension, but also on another gargantuan transportation project.
The $10 billion dollar East Side access, which hopes to bring the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal, is expected to complete this by 2022.
"People say: If you're going to raise my fare, what are you going to do to improve my service” said Tom Prendergast.
The MTA held hearings about fare-hikes, promised to bring Wi-Fi service to all 279 underground subway stations by the end of 2016, and in November, re-open the "W"-train.
"Very, very soon we'll be opening the biggest service addition we've seen in over 50 years," said Prendergast.
However, in the background of any MTA-related discussion are questions about the authority's ability to complete the 2nd avenue subway extension by the end of the year.
Always, in every update he issued on that subject from the authority's first board-meeting of 2016 to its last, Prendergast fed New Yorkers the same line, “we are cautiously optimistic of that date.”