Subway Construction Wreaks Havoc On The Upper East Side -- For The Next Five Years

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Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

Home to Mayor Bloomberg, Spike Lee, Woody Allen, Ricky Gervais and many other notable celebrities, including Madonna and her $40 million mansion on 81st St, the Upper East Side is one of the wealthiest areas in the city.But at the moment, on 2nd Ave. at 72nd St. it isn’t as glamorous as it sounds.

Construction of the UES segment of the new subway line has been going on for over a year and won’t be completed until at least 2016, according to MTA plans.

Current estimates for the first phase of the line’s construction, which will extend from 96th St. to 63rd St., put the cost at almost $5 billion. The contract for the 72nd St. station isĀ $431 million, funded entirely by the Federal Transit Administration.

Business Insider went to check out the site and see how it is coming along. While some residents and plenty of shop owners are annoyed by the inconvenience of the construction they are looking forward to having a convenient subway stop…eventually.

The 2nd Subway, like the bus, is not in service. These small building size structures house the construction site for the subway. Construction workers take elevators down to the actual site which is over 50 feet underground.

But the MTA maintains it is Improving Non-Stop. What do you think?

Stores are blocked off by fences.

Shoppers have to navigate around fences and through scaffolding to go in.

And pedestrians have to walk around the site and watch out for equipment.

Some buildings near the site have been forced to shut down, you don't usually see a building like that in such prime real estate.

The site's exterior walls are covered by signs encouraging people to shop on 2nd Ave.

But the reality is a little less inviting. This sign is for a store blocked off by the fences.

At least the scaffolding provides some shade.

Getting on the site is not encouraged...or allowed.

But you can still check the progress through the fences.

Traffic is forced to move around the often unwieldy construction work.

But workers stay focused on the job. And check out those tattoos.

Safety remains the top priority.

While concrete is quick, many shop owners feel the construction isn't quick enough.

And the traffic in the area certainly isn't moving fast.

For now, the best option for getting around the area may be walking, even if inconvenienced by the site.

Not all subway projects are as annoying as the 2nd Ave. subway construction. Check out:

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