The 72nd Street Second Avenue station on Dec. 9. Gov. Cuomo's office

It's a project that's nearly a century in the making, but by the end of the year, the Second Avenue subway will finally open to riders.

 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has been putting pressure on the MTA to complete the project by its Dec. 31 deadline, told NBC New York that service will beginon New Year's Day. An inaugural ride will run the night before.

 

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Originally proposed in 1919, multiple plans for the project on Manhattan's East Side have been delayed for lack of funding until 2007, when construction on the line began. Now, $4.5 billion later, the first phase is almost compete, connecting three new Q line stations: 72nd, 86th and 96thstreets.

 

A second phase will reach up to 125th Street.

Cuomo has pressed the MTA to complete the project on schedule — though it's already three years late, a New York Post columnist pointed out — and told the New York Daily News it's more than just ceremonial.

"Opening the Second Avenue subway on time is about meeting deadlines, proving government competency, not backing down from difficult challenges and actually getting the job done for New Yorkers,"Cuomo said. “The deadline was set for Dec. 31, and we must meet it."