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116th Street is a station on the IND Second Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of Second Avenue and 116th Street on the Upper East Side, it serves the Q train at all times except late nights and the U providing full time service. The T also serves this station as an express on the lower level. During late nights, the T uses the upper level, running on the local tracks.

North of the station, two tracks branch off the local tracks, forming the IND Throgs Neck line. The other tracks continue and curve west onto 125th Street, forming the IND 125th Street line.

Station layoutEdit

Station layoutEdit

G Street level Exits/Entrances
M Mezzanine Fare control, station agent, MetroCard vending machines
(Elevator on SW corner of Second Avenue and 116th Street)
P
Platform level
Northbound
Local
Q toward Lexington Avenue-125th Street (Lexington Avenue-125th Street)
U toward Throgs Neck (125th Street)
← T toward Broadway-125th Street (Lexington Avenue-125th Street) (late nights only)
Island platform, doors will open on the left; accessible
Southbound
Local
Q toward Coney Island via Brighton (106th Street)
U toward Broad Street (106th Street)
→ T toward Rockaway Park (106th Street) (late nights only)
Express
tracks
Northbound
Express
T toward Rockaway Park (Lexington Avenue-125th Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the left; accessible
Southbound
Express
T toward Rockaway Park (72nd Street)
This station has been built more wide open than most other underground stations in the system; its architecture, along with other Second Avenue Subway stations, was compared to a Washington Metro station by Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, President of MTA Capital Construction. The platform is 25 feet 3 inches (7.70 m) wide, the width of the station is 59 feet (18 m), and the height between the platform and the ceiling is 16 feet 8 inches (5.08 m). The station's upper level is approximately 41 feet (12 m) deep from street level to trackbed, and the lower level is about 60 ft (18.3 m) deep.

Entrances, exits, and ancillary buildingsEdit

There are 2 entrances and exits and one elevator.

Exit location Exit Type Number of exits
Entrance 1
(2 entry points)
Within building at SE corner of Second Avenue and 116th Street
Escalator 2 escalators
Entrance 1
NE corner of Second Avenue and 116th Street
Elevator 1
Entrance 2
SE corner of Second Avenue and 118th Street
Staircase
Escalator
Each entry point has:
1 staircase
1 escalator

There are also two ancillary buildings that store station equipment:

  • Ancillary 1, SE corner of Second Avenue and 116th Street
  • Ancillary 2, NE corner of Second Avenue and 118th Street

HistoryEdit

Background Edit

The Second Avenue Line was originally proposed in 1919 as part of a massive expansion of what would become the Independent Subway System (IND). Work on the line never commenced, as the Great Depression crushed the economy. Numerous plans for the Second Avenue Subway appeared throughout the 20th century, but these were usually deferred due to lack of funds. In anticipation of the never-built new subway line, the Second and Third Avenue elevated lines were demolished in 1940 and 1955, respectively. The Second Avenue Elevated had one station at 117th Street and Second Avenue—nearly above the same intersection where the subway station is located—while the Third Avenue Elevated had a stop on nearby Third Avenue at 116th Street.

Unrealized proposals Edit

As part of the New York City Transit Authority's 1968 Program for Action, the construction of the full-length Second Avenue Subway was proposed. It was to be built in three phases—the first phase from Court Street to Grand Street was already opened by 1968; the second phrase from 126th to 34th Streets and the third phase from 34th to Grand Street were in the works.


The line's planned stops in Manhattan, spaced farther apart than those on existing subway lines, proved controversial; the Second Avenue line was criticized as a "rich man's express", circumventing the Lower East Side with its complexes of high-rise low- and middle-income housing and slums in favor of a silk stocking route." There was to be no station at 116th Street, but the next station north would be at 125th Street and the next station south would be at 106th Street.

A combination of Federal and State funding was obtained, and despite the controversy over the number of stops and route, a groundbreaking ceremony was held on October 27, 1972 at Second Avenue and 103rd Street. In December 1972, the NYCTA started soliciting bids for the construction of Section 13 of Route 132-A, which was between 110th and 120th Streets in East Harlem.[14]:512 Bids opened on January 26, 1973, and the bid from Cayuga-Crimmins was the lowest of six bids. The contract was awarded on March 20, 1973, and, in that month, construction of the segment by Cayuga-Crimmins began at a cost of $35.45 million (equivalent to $202,970,000 in 2016). About half of this section was constructed through solid rock and therefore continual blasting was necessary. One worker was killed in the construction of this section.

However, the city soon experienced its most dire fiscal crisis yet, due to the stagnant economy of the early 1970s, combined with the massive outflow of city residents to the suburbs, and in September 1975 construction on the line stopped, and the tunnels were sealed. Over the next few decades, the MTA regularly inspected and maintained the tunnel segments, to maintain the structural integrity of the streets above, and in case construction would ever resume. Trespassers would often camp in the tunnels until the MTA increased security.

The tunnel section from 110th to 120th Streets was built with three tracks, and as part of the 1970s construction plan, under which this segment was constructed, there was no station planned at 116th Street.

In 1983, the Regional Plan Association considered a full-length Second Avenue Subway. 106th Street was not one of its planned 13 stations. Due to protests, a station was added to the plans in 1983. Because of this, the existing tunnel segment from 110th Street to 120th Street was modified to make room for the 116th Street station. As part of the original construction, there were three tracks built in this segment, with the middle track intended to be used for repairing and inspecting trains. Original plans consisted of two side platforms, with the middle track being storage, but it was determined an island platform would save a considerable amount of money. While most of the original trackbed was removed, the remaining trackbed was used to connect the IND Throgs Neck line's downtown track to the Second Avenue line north of the station, and south of the station the trackbed was used to connect the upper level with the lower level. This connection can only be used during GOs.

Construction Edit

In June 1979, the Second Avenue Subway was revived. The line's first phase, the "first major expansion" to the New York City Subway in more than a half-century, included 13 new stations on the east side. The line's construction commenced on July 15, 1979, In April 1983, the second round of planning for the stations were finalized.

The station was scheduled to be completed by May 16, 1989, but the estimated completion date was pushed back to October 1989.

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