The LIRR East Side Access project, which will bring an estimated 160,000 commuters into Grand Central Station, is on track to begin service in 2019, according to MTA Community Outreach Director Eric Zaretsky.
The $8.3 billion expansion will “promote job growth in the Grand Central area and allows commuters to get to the East Side of Manhattan, which is where 40 percent of them want to go,” Zaretsky said.
The tunneling in Queens is almost complete, but construction work on Northern Boulevard, where the MTA is putting in a new substation facility, will continue for a few years, according to Zaretsky.
He said the MTA fixed 43rd Street and it is now putting in a bridge at 48th Street in Sunnyside. It also plans to return a parking lot to the New York Presbyterian Church.
A lot of the work takes place at night, which allows the addition of three new tunnels without suspending service, Zaretsky said.
“We’re trying to be a good neighbor, but it’s hard to bang steel into the ground without making noise,” he said. “And horns have to be blown to protect workers.”
— Laura Shepard