Thursday, January 26, 2012

MTA revamps East Side Access timetable

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New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority Capital Construction says it plans to reorganize its construction plan of the $7.4 billion East Side Access project, designed to give the Long Island Rail Road access to Grand Central Terminal and Manhattan’s East Side.

Revenue service originally was anticipated to begin in late 2016, but the project timetable reportedly has been slipping due to unexpected complications, particularly in Queens where tunnel boring will provide a link to Sunnyside Yards and the LIRR network (photo at right). MTACC hopes to reconfigure the current schedule, and says it has renegotiated its contract and schedule with Dragados USA, a subsidiary of Madrid, Spain-based Grupo Dragados SA.ESA Queens NYMTA

The new LIRR terminus at Grand Central lies underneath existing rights-of-way operated by sister railroad Metro-North; MTACC is constructing 22 elevators and 47 escalators to the eight-track terminus to aid passenger flow. MTA expects 180,000 LIRR riders to use the new service, offering more direct service to LIRR passengers and freeing up some subway capacity now used by those riders utilizing Penn Station, on Manhattan’s West Side, and boarding subway lines to and from the East Side.