Photos: Major Construction Completed At East Side Access, Still On Schedule For 2022


Main development on East Facet Entry positioned beneath Grand Central Terminal is full. The 15-year lengthy, $11 billion terminal and concourse is seven tales underground, and can permit Lengthy Island Rail Street trains to drag into Grand Central Terminal, decreasing the burden on Penn Station—and finally shave as much as 40 minutes off commutes into Manhattan. 

About half the Lengthy Island Rail Street trains will probably be diverted to Grand Central Terminal.

Crews at the moment are doing the ending touches on the station, and Governor Andrew Cuomo promised Thursday it’ll open to the general public someday subsequent yr.

There are 47 escalators and 22 elevators to get riders between the 4 ranges of platforms and a mezzanine degree. The bottom platform is 150 toes underground; the MTA has blasted tens of millions of cubic yards of rock from its excavations in Manhattan and Queens. There’s additionally room for 25 retail retailers, in addition to a rotating artwork exhibit behind glass.

Janno Lieber, President of MTA Building & Growth who led the undertaking, stated the MTA will be capable to improve capability throughout rush hour by 45%, and the undertaking will present another choice for commuters if Penn Station’s tunnels are closed.  

“This gives that back-up capability that Lengthy Island, with its virtually 3 million individuals, deserves at this stage of historical past,” he stated throughout a tour of the positioning on Thursday.

Whereas many of the development work is finished, prepare operators should now obtain a number of months of coaching to discover ways to use the brand new, extra advanced intersection it shares with Amtrak and NJ Transit, often known as Harold Interlocking.

Cuomo is betting that by the point this station opens to the general public, staff in midtown could have resumed common commutes and workplace hours. (The MTA projected, earlier than the pandemic, that 162,000 clients would use East Facet Entry every day.) The brand new part of Grand Central has 25,000 sq. toes for retail, which he hopes individuals will make right into a vacation spot.

“Individuals like individuals, individuals like socialization. Companies like to sit down across the desk and bounce concepts off one another,” Cuomo stated Thursday. “Simply make it doable and make it enticing—that’s what that is all about.”

A cavernous escalator tunnel


From a progress tour of the East Facet Entry Venture, Could 27, 2021

Stephen Nessen / Gothamist

The governor additionally touted the potential for attending to JFK Airport from Grand Central Terminal on the Lengthy Island Rail Street in 40 minutes, as soon as the brand new tracks are open.

On Thursday, Cuomo promoted the completion of the undertaking as one other instance of his capacity to get massive infrastructure tasks, just like the Mario Cuomo Bridge, Moynihan Practice Corridor, the three new Second Avenue subway stations, and the L prepare repairs accomplished shortly. 

Unsaid had been the issues that got here with the velocity calls for of these tasks. Bolts on the Mario Cuomo Bridge had to get replaced; a undertaking supervisor at Moynihan was reportedly pushed to suicide from the strain; the Second Avenue subway stations opened earlier than finishing hearth security exams; and whereas the L prepare tunnel was accomplished forward of schedule with out a full shutdown, it stays to be seen how lengthy the repairs will final. 

Cuomo hinted Thursday that Gateway, one other main undertaking about to start, with federal assist and 1 / 4 of funding from New York, might use a little bit assist from Cuomo’s staff to save lots of prices and end extra shortly.