On a recent Friday, Senator Jack M. Martins took a tour of the East Side Access Project, where he saw first-hand the progress being made on the massive capital project that entails excavating and building tunnels that will bring the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) into Grand Central.
First, Senator Martins and LIRR President Helena Williams toured the progress being made on the Queens side as new tunnels are being constructed from the LIRR mainline tracks connecting to the existing 63rd Street tunnel just beyond Northern Boulevard. Then, Senator Martins traveled to Manhattan, where he saw the progress being made approximately 90 feet underneath Grand Central as tunnels are being excavated for the purpose of allowing LIRR train service into the terminal, which is located on 42nd Street and Park Avenue.
It is estimated that the project will be completed in 2019. The main goals of the project are to provide a direct and faster trip between Long Island and East Midtown Manhattan. Customers will have a choice whether to take a train from their home station into Penn or Grand Central. LIRR officials believe the project will improve service while easing overcrowding in Penn Station.
“The scope of the project is certainly impressive,” said Senator Martins.”I want to thank LIRR President Helena Williams for arranging this tour. It’s important to see what progress is being made on a project that will impact our residents who commute into Manhattan.”