MTA completes East Side Access project

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New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) recently completed major construction on its East Side Access project connecting the Long Island Rail Road to a new 350,000-square-foot passenger terminal under Grand Central Terminal.

The project is the first expansion of the rail line in more than 100 years and doubles capacity into Manhattan while cutting travel time for Queens commuters.

In Manhattan, the concourse features Wi-Fi and cell service, digital signage with real-time train information, 25 retail storefronts, and art installations. The entrance being built at 45th Street is expected to serve 10,000 people daily.

The concourse and mezzanine are 140 feet below Park Avenue.

In Queens, a new rail yard holds up to 300 rail cars. The project included installing more than 40 miles of new track, nearly 13 miles of newly excavated tunnels, 15 overhead gantries that display train control signals, and 550 miles of cable.

“We doubled down on this project – expressing faith in its fundamentals but overhauling the way we were pursuing it,” Janno Lieber, MTA construction and development president, said. “In the past, when challenges were encountered, the answer was to push back the project completion date. We put an end to that and committed this project would be completed in 2022 as had been promised. Today’s announcement is an affirmation that our approach is working.”