Jan. 28, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge
The MTA has approved contracts for the construction of a Long Island Rail Road terminal under Grand Central, as well as tunnel approaches in Sunnyside connecting that terminal to Queens.
East Side Access is one of the largest transportation projects in the country, with a budget of $10 billion. The MTA estimates that, when completed, it will serve 162,000 customers per day. It is intended to provide an easier commute from Long Island and Queens to the east side of Manhattan via Grand Central.
Service on East Side Access is expected to open in 2022.
The new station under Grand Central in Manhattan will include four platforms and eight tracks. The Tutor Perini Corporation will complete the work for $663 million over 3.5 years.
Tutor Perini also won the Sunnyside contract, valued at $79 million.
The Sunnyside work involves excavation and construction of an approach structure that will connect the LIRR’s existing tracks to one of four new rail tunnels that have been built under Sunnyside Yard. According to MTA spokesperson Aaron Donovan, these connections will bring trains from Woodside to the new Grand Central LIRR station; they are unrelated to an East Side Access station that is planned to be built in Sunnyside.
That station will connect to Penn Station and construction is “quite a ways off,” Donovan said.
The Sunnyside contract also involves the replacement of one of the bridges that carry trains from Woodside to Manhattan over 48th Street.
“With the award of these contracts, the eventual completion of East Side Access is starting to come into view,” MTA Capital Construction president Michael Horodniceanu said. “This is the next chapter in the long history of Grand Central Terminal and the growth and development of New York City.”
Sunnyside work is expected to start in late February, Donovan said.