MTA officials ceremoniously broke the floor of Grand Central Terminal on Tuesday, kicking off a new construction project that will create access to the station from the Long Island Rail Road concourse being built below. The in-progress concourse is part of the massive East Side Access project, which is currently the largest infrastructure project in the country.

MTA East Side Access

During the ceremony, MTA Capital Construction President Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, broke open the section of the floor that will soon become new escalators and a stairway leading to the concourse. The project is slated to take approximately 12 to 18 months.

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The East Side Access plan is currently the largest transportation construction project in the country, and includes a number of related construction schemes. Along with the build-out of the large concourse, platforms and various passageways being built under Grand Central Station, the project has excavated 42,500 feet of tunnels in Manhattan and Queens, added a new entrance at Grand Central at 245 Park Avenue, and created a “pocket park oasis” on 50th Street. Additionally, the project is making improvements to the operational efficiency of the Harold Interlocking train junction in Queens which should reduce travel time for Amtrak and LIRR passengers.

“This ceremony marks the start of construction of several access points between the existing Grand Central Terminal that you all know so well, and the new concourse below that will provide access to Long Island Rail Road trains for 162,000 daily commuters when it opens for service,” Dr. Michael Horodniceanu said. “Building the largest infrastructure project in the entire country comes with its challenges, and I want to thank Grand Central’s visitors for their patience and support as we work to minimize any disruptions that come from heavy construction work.”


Images via MTA Flicker