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Thread: East Side Access - L.I.R.R. Link to Grand Central

  1. #16

    Default East Side access

    Is this project still alive?

    Bids were opened in August for two major contracts-over $ 300 million. I have not heard of any awards. The last contract for the " starter" tunnels seems to have been terminated because the rock was too hard (!!) for the planned method.

  2. #17

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    I found a news article on tunnellingonline.com which mentions the Slattery contract-$ 362 million- for the Manhattan tunnels. They list the personnel, so I guess the contract is signed. Again-no mention publicly.

  3. #18

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    This is it-

    East Side Access
    Skanska-Slattery/Traylor Bros./ Judlau S/T/J JV
    This $362.3 million project for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will connect the Long Island Railroad Tunnels constructed in the 1970s from Queens to Second Avenue to the Grand Central Terminal in mid-Manhattan. Initially the joint venture will mine two approach tunnels and an erection chamber to assemble the two TBMs.


    From the assembly chamber on 63rd Street, two hard rock TBMs (22 ft in diameter) will excavate two single tunnels diagonally from 62nd Street and Second Avenue to Park Avenue, then turn south to 38th Street approximately 7,500 lf. The TBMs will be backed to 59th Street, where two large, high speed bifurcation chambers, 500-ft long, opening to a maximum width of 54-ft will be excavated. The TBMs will be reassembled and then drive two parallel tunnels from the bifurcation to 38th Street.

    The excavation of four additional bifurcations will be required, followed by four more TBM tunnels, which will terminate at 43rd Street and Park Avenue. Eight underground chambers, eight starter tunnels, two approach tunnels and 25,000 lf of TBM-mined tunnel will be constructed over a 50-month period.

    With no access in Manhattan for men or materials, everything will be transported 9,000 ft from Queens to the worksite. A mega transportation rail system will carry 20,000 cu yds of shotcrete, support material, powder, rock bolts and all other material. Muck from the tunnels and chambers totaling 900,000 cu yds will be transported to Queens in muck cars with diesel locomotives, where it will be transferred to conveyors and carried to Long Island Railroad gondola cars for transport to fill areas on Long Island.
    tunnellingonline.com


    It suggests that conveyors will span Northern Blvd to carry the spoil to the LIRR yards.

  4. #19
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    MTA unveils revamped East Side Access plan

    BY CHUCK BENNETT
    amNew York STAFF WRITER

    December 7, 2005

    After a year of pressure from business bigwigs, local pols and even the Catholic Church, the MTA made public Tuesday a substantially redesigned ventilation system for its plan to connect the Long Island Rail Road and Grand Central Terminal.

    Originally, the $6.3-billion project, known as East Side Access, called for a 150-foot-tall ventilation tower on East 50th Street between Madison and Park Avenues. The tower would pump out air from the train tunnels and platforms 155 feet below ground.

    But critics said the proposed tower, located a block from St. Patrick's Cathedral and Saks Fifth Avenue, would create a public-health hazard and traffic nightmare.

    Critics said the tower would bring in extra delivery and sanitation trucks, as well as produce "visible mist" from close-to-the-ground cooling towers that could carry Legionnaires' disease. They also argued that 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel to power back-up generators was a potential bomb.

    The new plan moves the exhaust vents elsewhere and places the cooling towers atop neighboring 300 Park Ave., an office building.

    It places the fuel tanks off site, removes the truck-loading dock from East 50th Street, cuts construction time from six to two years, and even provides a small park.

    The MTA hopes to have the East Side connection completed by 2012.

    "Certainly, the MTA made an effort to address the concerns raised by me and other community residents," said Assemblyman Jonathan Bing (D-Manhattan).
    Copyright © 2005, Newsday, Inc.

  5. #20
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    This, along with the 3rd rail expansion of the main line and the proposed link to JFK and Downtown would be a real boon for both the city and LI. This might make LI somewhat more attractive for former NYC folks to move to when considering the burbs. Right now, Westchester, Northern NJ and even CT seem to always beat out LI for Manhattan refugees.

  6. #21

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    The 3rd TRACK(3rd rail already exists there) is more for NYC residents who commute TO LI, but it will also make room for more peak direction service too.

    JFK-Manhattan is a dead boondoggle and is the biggest waste of an idea I've ever heard of.

    LIRR to downtown is not happening for a LLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOONNNG time

  7. #22
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    NY Daily News
    Off the fast track

    Rising costs hit LIRR plan for Grand Central

    BY PETE DONOHUE
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

    The MTA's plan to bring Long Island Rail Road trains into Grand Central Terminal is getting more and more expensive - and could reach $7.7 billion by the time the digging's done.
    The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says the extension, which involves a major expansion of the historic 42nd St. depot, will cost $6.3 billion.

    But the authority hasn't revised that figure since December 2003, even though steel and other key materials are more expensive now. Experts say the cost is sure to rise - and even the feds, who are being counted on for much of the funding, have put the price tag at $7.7 billion.

    "The longer you wait to build these things, the more they cost," said Jeremy Soffin of the Regional Plan Association. An MTA spokeswoman said the agency is sticking to its figure.

    Extending LIRR into Grand Central would shorten commutes for many Long Islanders, supporters say.

    But some advocates and experts gripe the so-called East Side Access project has been hampered by waning support from Gov. Pataki, an early booster who in recent years has pushed for a rail link between Kennedy Airport and lower Manhattan.

    "Pataki's got to make up his mind," Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said. "If he keeps asking the feds for billions for both . . . New York will wind up with nothing."

    The MTA stalled the launch of the big dig in Manhattan - extending an existing tunnel from Queens to Grand Central and excavating a huge cavern for new platforms beneath the terminal - after Pataki didn't fill its funding request for the 2005-2009 capital plan.

    The MTA last year held off awarding tunneling contracts as it waited for voters in November to approve a bond act generating $450 million.

    The time lag forced the MTA recently to solicit bids a second time. Contracts now may be awarded this spring.

    The shortfall in state support also has made it tougher to get a long-term funding commitment from the feds.

    "It's a big problem," veteran MTA board member Barry Feinstein said.

    Some advocates are urging the MTA to look at a less expensive alternative that would take greater advantage of tracks and platforms currently at Grand Central. An MTA spokeswoman declined to comment on that possibility.

  8. #23

    Default East Side Access

    It has been so long since anyone has written about this, I couldn't find the thread.

    The MTA is keeping a low profile on this now.

    The new bids for the Queens Open Cut were opened in April and a contract was awarded a week later. Work began 2 weeks ago with no publicity.

    The low bid in 2004 was $ 55 million. The same bidder ( Pile Foundation Construction) was the low bidder this time at $ 83 million

    The bids for the Manhattan Tunnel excavation were opened on Tuesday. The low bidder-a large Spanish construction company with very little history in the US came in at $ 427 million. The rejected 2004 low bid was $ 375 million.

  9. #24
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    All the small retail next to my office on 50th (mad/park) is in the process of closing for this project.

  10. #25
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    I just merged the last two posts into the existing thread, changed the title, and moved it to this forum. Should be easier to find now.

  11. #26

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    Maybe this thread is being covered in a different thread but I couldn't easily find it. The project sure seems to be active including a May 17 hearing with lots of MTA docs:
    http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/capconstr/esas/ea50.htm
    http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/capconstr/esas/index.html

    It's now budgeted at $6.4 billion and still scheduled for completion in 2012
    . If you lost track of this. The LIRR trains would go from Sunnyside Yards across the East River via the 63rd Street tunnel and then down Park Avenue 90 feet below the existing Metro North tracks (170+ feet below Park Avenue!).

    No doubt the LIRR is banking on this (noting that 50 percent of its riders say Grand Central rather than Penn Station is closer to work) and that's why they aren't jumping to the new Moynihan Station.

    Here's some other articles.

    http://www.nysun.com/article/8991
    http://www.localexpression.com/esa.html
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  12. #27
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update.

    Not sure why it was hard for you to find, if you used the Search function all the key words are in the title, all transit improvements are in this Guide for New Yorkers forum, and it was already at the top of the page.

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan
    All the small retail next to my office on 50th (mad/park) is in the process of closing for this project.
    That's where an air vent is going in (disguised as a regular building).

    Nose around the official MTA site, you will find a lot on the project
    http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/capconstr/esas/index.html

    It's amazing that something so big is nearly invisible on the public radar.

    Note to NY Knight. I didn't quite understand the heirarchy for placement. It's clear now. Thanks.

  14. #29
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    Rather than head to Grand Central via 63rd, why didn't they just double up the tunnels heading to Penn Station and from there head north into Grand Central? Then you could of had NJ trains going to Grand Central and other new routes. Would have meant less tunnelling in Manhattan.

  15. #30
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    To my knowledge, any tunnels leading to or from penn station are at full capacity. Plus, the 63rd tunnel is already completed. It uses the same tunnel as the "F" train. There is only a need to extend it to grand central with its own platform and concourse.

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