- By Todd DeFeo | The Center Square contributor/May 28th, 2021
(The Center Square) – Crews in New York City have completed “civil construction” on the East Side Access project, an $11 billion endeavor to build a 350,000-square-foot passenger station beneath Grand Central Terminal to allow the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to enter the complex.
Officials contend the project, initially conceived in the 1960s, is the largest train terminal built nationwide since the 1950s and the first expansion of the LIRR in more than a century.
“East Side Access is one of North America’s largest transportation projects – an audacious $11 billion idea changing the entire regional transportation system,” embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release.
The project, which officials say will relieve congestion at Penn Station, includes more than 40 miles of new track and nearly 13 miles of newly excavated tunnels. In Queens, crews built a new rail yard with a capacity for 300 rail cars.
The project also modernized Harold Interlocking in Queens, which officials say is North America’s “busiest passenger railroad intersection,” installing 97 new switches, 295 poles for Amtrak train overhead wires and five new steel railroad bridges. The Harold Interlocking work will benefit travelers on the busy Washington-to-Boston Northeast Corridor, officials say.
“In the past, when challenges were encountered, the answer was to push back the project completion date,” Janno Lieber, president of MTA Construction & Development, said in a news release.
“We put an end to that and committed this project would be completed in 2022 as had been promised,” Lieber added. This “announcement is an affirmation that our approach is working.”
Work on the project began “in earnest” in 2006, according to a news release. It was originally projected to cost roughly $3.5 billion, PIX11.com reported.
East Side Access is scheduled to open up next year, but officials said they plan to start testing trains this summer. The project will double the LIRR’s capacity into Manhattan, according to a news release.
“I’ve been through a lot of difficult infrastructure projects during my time in government, and while this project may have been one the most difficult to get accomplished, its completion will have a huge impact on New York’s economy and vibrancy for generations to come and serve as yet another example of what New Yorkers can do when we put our minds to something,” Cuomo, a Democrat, added.
More from the Roosevelt Island Daily News
- Will the Roosevelt Island Tram tumble out of New York City Transit?Don’t tell the Roosevelt Island Tram operators, but the MetroCard will be gone in a little over a year. That’s according to TimeOut New York. But what does that mean for Roosevelt Island? By David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News The Roosevelt Island Daily thanks Sylvan Klein for the heads up. The Roosevelt Island
- RIHS Returns The Elevator Storehouse Plaque Home On Roosevelt IslandEfforts by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) paid off yesterday when an original plaque from the Elevator Storehouse came home. By David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News The plaque, identifying a building providing elevator service to Roosevelt Island from the Queensboro Bridge, arrived by car. Historical Society leader Judith Berdy arranged it. She
- A Gunboat in the East River Off Roosevelt IslandA gunboat in the East River, this morning, a blast from an painful past, a reminder of the sad way we were. By David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News Twenty years ago, after the World Trade Center disaster, gunboats in the East River were a daily fixture. Walking from Manhattan Park to the subway,
- It’s Constitution Week. Lynne Shinozaki and NYPL Welcome You to Learning More“We met at the Roosevelt Island Library last Friday to promote awareness of Constitution Week,” Shinozaki says. “It’s a National Celebration to bring renewed awareness to the awesome document that our Country is based on.” The Roosevelt Island Daily News “Please stop by our Roosevelt Island Public Library, 504 Main Street, and learn more about
- KICK SOME ASS, ROOSEVELT ISLAND. MAKE THE BASTARDS LISTENMake the bastards listen, Roosevelt Island. Kick a little ass now because it’s the only path you have for running your own community. davidstone1313 See author's posts