The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has awarded the final major construction contract for the East Side Access project, which will bring new Long Island Rail Road service to the east side of Manhattan at Grand Central Terminal in 2022.
“Awarding the last heavy civil contract shows our progress toward completion of this huge — and hugely important — project. The East Side Access will pay off in many ways for Long Island and the region — including more trains, direct service to East Midtown and a second passenger rail route between Manhattan and Long Island, the kind of back-up needed in the event of Superstorm Sandy-type extreme weather events and other emergencies. It’s a game changer,” said Janno Lieber, MTA’s chief development officer.
Skanska USA Civil Northeast was the low bidder for the work and the contract is valued at $60.2 million with two options that, if exercised, could bring the value up to $62.5 million. Crews will relocate tracks in Harold Interlocking in Sunnyside, Queens, to create space for a that will connect trains traveling to and from Long Island with newly built tunnels to the new concourse under Grand Central and then excavate 15,000 cubic yards of soil and build the 800-foot structure.
MTA said the contract also includes the removal of a tunnel boring machine cutter head that remains in the tunnel from a prior contract and installation of overhead wire structures that power Amtrak trains and new communications, power and signal duct banks, new tracks and new switches.
MTA explains that the contractor is required to design and provide temporary support for the 39th Street Bridge while the excavation and construction is underway below.
“The award of this final contract means that we have come even closer to bringing this project in on time and initiating LIRR train service to Grand Central by December 2022,” said Rob Troup, East Side Access senior program executive. “I look forward to working with our contractors and our railroad partners to achieve this goal.”