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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has completed all blasting operations for the first phase of its Second Avenue Subway project, marking a major milestone on the largest expansion of the New York City subway network in generations.The final blast, which completed excavation for a future escalator entrance located on the north side of 86th Street and Second Avenue, occurred Nov. 18, MTA officials said in a statement posted on the agency's website.
Heavy construction to excavate and create the 96th Street station reached substantial completion earlier this month, as well, they said.The controlled blasting operations began in November 2009 at 96th Street, and were used in the construction of all of the cavern excavations for underground structures for the subway stations at 72nd, 86th and 96th streets. The 63rd St. Station is being reconstructed to connect the Second Avenue Subway into the existing Lexington Ave-63 St. Station. Work at that site involved excavation, muck removal and reconstruction of the structural elements within the existing station for a future extension of the Q Line.The Second Avenue Subway is scheduled to begin serving Manhattan's East Side by the end of 2016.