First segment of MTA Metro-North Railroad Park Avenue Viaduct replaced

June 13, 2024
This first step in the viaduct replacement process will work towards ensuring the railroad continues to provide safe and reliable Metro-North Railroad train service.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has successfully completed the first section replacment of the aging 130-year-old Park Avenue Viaduct in Manhattan without disrupting its Metro-North Railroad service.

The Park Avenue Viaduct is an elevated steel structure that carries four Metro-North Railroad tracks and serves all Metro-North trains traveling into and out of Grand Central Terminal, totaling 750 trains every weekday.

The recent operation utilized two gantry systems, which extend over the viaduct to remove and replace the existing concrete and steel bridge deck with new prefabricated bridge units, weighing around 190,000 pounds each. MTA says the innovative approach helped Construction & Development, in partnership with Metro-North Railroad, perform this work better, faster and cheaper and without significant disruption for riders.

“The seamless replacement of the first segment of the Park Avenue Viaduct is a great example of the innovative approach we take to delivering critical projects better, faster and cheaper,” said MTA Construction & Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “Innovation, along with strong project management, will help us to deliver this mega project on time and on budget with little to no impacts to service.” 

“All Metro-North trains to and from Grand Central Terminal pass over the Park Avenue Viaduct, which is more than 130 years old,” said Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi. “Replacement of this structure is a priority state of good repair project that is critical to our ability to provide safe and reliable service.  We are thrilled that this project is underway and we will continue to work closely with MTA Construction & Development to minimize impacts to our service.”      

Phase 1 of the project, extending from East 115th St. to East 123rd St. along Park Avenue, includes replacement of the existing steel structure, as well as new tracks, power, communications and signal systems. Substructure construction to replace the viaduct’s foundations and columns began in September 2023 and construction for Phase 1 will continue through 2026. The first round of work is part of the $590 million earmarked for the first phase of the Park Avenue Viaduct Replacement project, of which $500.9 million is federally funded.     

The entirety of the Park Avenue Viaduct runs from the entrance of the Park Avenue Tunnel at East 97th St. to the Harlem River, however, the Park Avenue Viaduct Replacement project focuses on the structural elements in need of repair dating from the 1890s between East 110th St. and the Harlem River Lift Bridge, spanning 1.8 miles.