Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sneak Peek at $8 Billion East Side Access Project

In January 1999, President Clinton’s budget included $20 million in funds for East Side Access, a project that would bring the Long Island Railroad to Grand Central Terminal. The projected cost back then was $2.2 billion. Today, with 45 percent of the work complete, MTA officials estimate the price tag at closer to $8.4 billion.  East Side Access is scheduled to open in August of 2019.

East Side Access will bring 160,000 Long Island commuters roughly 11 miles from a new station in Queens’ Sunnyside Yard to Grand Central Terminal, shaving an average 40 minutes off the trips of the majority of Long Island Railroad riders who work closer to Grand Central than to Penn Station.

A new 350,000-square-foot concourse–its design will mimic the existing main terminal’s–will include retail space as well as 51 elevators and escalators descending 160 feet below the earth to four platforms handling eight rail tracks.

MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu recently led a group of selected guests, including, on a guided tour of the project. Mr. Horodniceanu spoke proudly of his project as he led the crowd through a network of windy and chilly tunnels deep below midtown from 44th through 59th Streets.

East Side Access Project - Photo Update (Jan 2013)