Gov. Cuomo: Major construction complete on East Side Access project

The MTA's megaproject connects the Long Island Rail Road to a new, 350,000-square-foot passenger terminal under Grand Central Terminal.

News 12 Staff

May 27, 2021, 8:00 PM

Updated 1,061 days ago

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that the major portion of construction of the East Side Access project is now complete.
The MTA's megaproject connects the Long Island Rail Road to a new, 350,000-square-foot passenger terminal under Grand Central Terminal. This is the largest new train terminal to be built in the United States since the 1950s and it marks the first expansion of the LIRR in more than 100 years.
"East Side Access is one of North America's largest transportation projects--an audacious $11 billion idea changing the entire regional transportation system," says Cuomo. "Thanks to the hard work of the so many people, major construction on this transformative project is now complete and we are proud to announce East Side Access will open up next year--significantly cutting travel times and easing the commute into Manhattan for countless travelers.
Once all 17 stories below ground are done, it is expected to save commuters about 40 minutes on getting to work on the East Side.
"It makes a major difference to Long Islanders," says Cuomo. "But it makes a difference to all commuters because it increases the capacity of the entire system.
Cuomo says it will not open until everything is deemed safe and every operator is prepared.
The massive 350,000 square-foot terminal will be home to retail shops, restaurants and art instillations. In the end, the eight new tracks on four bi-level platforms will accommodate as many as 24 trains per hour during rush hour, easing the crush at busy Penn Station. 
Officials say it could take commuters several minutes to get down below to the platforms. Either way they say it will relieve traffic at busy Penn Station.
The terminal is actually under Madison Avenue from 42nd Street to 49th Street and will have entrances all along the way. All of those entrances are still being built.
Cuomo says the entire project is something all New Yorkers should be proud of once its open.


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