Every day 750,000 visitors pass through Grand Central Terminal (GCT), making it the largest hub for train traffic in the world. Congestion on crowded regional rail lines is common during morning and evening rush hours, and passengers rely on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to take them where they need to go.
AECOM, a member of the General Engineering Consultant team for the new East Side Access project, is providing all structural engineering and architectural design for the new LIRR terminal within GCT. This is the largest construction project ever undertaken by the MTA.
The East Side Access project will increase rail capacity into Manhattan by nearly 50 percent and save LIRR’s East Side-bound travelers 30 to 40 minutes a day with its “one seat ride” direct connection into GCT. The primary components of the project include the following:
- New tunnel connections in Queens, in the vicinity of Harold Interlocking within Sunnyside Yard, to connect the LIRR Main Line and Port Washington Branch to the 63rd Street Tunnel under the East River;
- New hard-rock tunnel boring machines tunneling deep under midtown Manhattan from the 63rd Street Tunnel’s lower level at Second Avenue to a new LIRR terminal directly beneath the existing lower level of GCT;
- New station caverns—each with an upper and lower level separated by a mezzanine level—directly below the GCT train shed; and
- A new passenger concourse, located within the footprint of the existing Madison Yard on GCT’s lower level, will include escalator, elevator, and stair connections to Grand Central’s dining concourse and the old arrivals waiting room, along with connections to the 45th Street and 47th Street cross-passages.