MTA OK’s contract for East Side Access

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has approved the final major contract for construction of the $10.8 billion East Side Access project to provide tens of thousands of commuters a faster and more direct route from Queens to Manhattan’s East Side.

The latest contract is for construction of four railroad platforms and eight tracks in the station more than 100 feet below Grand Central Terminal.

Another project just awarded will be for the construction of a tunnel approach and rebuilding of a bridge in Sunnyside. The value of both projects amounts to almost $750 million.

“These are a significant milestone for East Side Access and will turn raw underground caverns into the modern station that Long Island Rail Road customers will use when they head directly to and from the east side of Manhattan,” said MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast. “And the Sunnyside contract will make it possible for trains to reach Grand Central Terminal. East Side Access will save Long Island and Queens customers up to 40 minutes a day in travel time, demonstrating why transit expansion is a key element of our 2015-19 Capital Program.”

The project more than 100 feet below Grand Central Terminal will transform two 1,143-foot-long caverns cut from rock into a subterranean railroad station, including more than 12 miles of track work from Queens to Manhattan, with eight tracks and four platforms, elevators and stairways to carry travelers to and from the underground station.

“With the award of these contracts, the eventual completion of East Side Access is starting to come into view,” said Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, president of MTA Capital Construction. “This is the next chapter in the long history of Grand Central Terminal and the growth and development of New York City.”

The MTA chose Tutor Perini Corp. for the 31/2 year caverns project valued at $663 million. Perini also was awarded the $79 million project to upgrade railroad infrastructure in Sunnyside, Queens to enable LIRR trains access to Grand Central Terminal.

The East Side Access project is scheduled to be completed in December 2022.

Posted 12:00 am, February 10, 2016
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Reader feedback

queens commuter from auburndale says:
How exactly is this going to work? Are the LIRR trains going to stop and BOTH Grand Central and Penn Station? Does that mean that commuters trying to board at the second stop may not be able to for lack of space? Or are only certain trains going to stop at each location. Does that mean to get a train to a location you want you will have to wait up to two hours, assuming that during non rush hours in places like auburndale the trains only run every hour anyway. Good idea, but I would like specifics. It certainly won't save anybody 40 minutes if they prefer going to Penn station and the West side.
Feb. 10, 2016, 6:39 pm

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