MTA awards two East Side Access contracts

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor
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MTA Capital Construction / Rehema Trimiew

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has awarded two contracts for the East Side Access project, the transportation megaproject that is connecting Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) customers to Grand Central Terminal.


The contracts valued at $627.79 million were awarded to contractors who will line more than 10,000 linear feet of newly excavated tunnels with permanent structural concrete walls and install complex communications systems in Grand Central Terminal’s future LIRR concourse.

One of the contracts, valued at $294.2 million, has been awarded to Frontier-Kemper Constructors to build permanent structural concrete lining, including embedded mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, on the newly excavated tunnels north of Grand Central Terminal, running from 50th Street and Park Avenue to 63rd Street and Second Avenue. Frontier-Kemper will also rehabilitate the segment of the 63rd Street Tunnel under the East River that will be used by LIRR trains, which was completed in the early 1970s. The firm will complete work on the underground portions of two facilities, located at 50th Street and 55th Street, that will ventilate the tunnels and Cavern, which will house the new LIRR station at Grand Central. The above-ground portion of the 50th Street ventilation facility has recently been completed.

The other contract, worth $333.59 million (with options leading to a total of $550.4 million), has been awarded to Tutor Perini Corporation to complete communications systems that will be used by the public and employees in the future LIRR concourse and infrastructure support systems needed to make the space usable by the public. The communications systems include telephone, two-way radio, public address, digital signage and fire detection. The infrastructure support systems include tunnel ventilation, tunnel drainage, tunnel lighting, plumbing and fire protection.

The East Side Access project will bring trains from all 11 branches of the LIRR into a new concourse being built beneath Grand Central Terminal. The new connection will increase the LIRR’s capacity into Manhattan and dramatically shorten travel time for Long Island and eastern Queens passengers traveling to the east side of Manhattan. Each cavern will contain four tracks, an upper and lower level platform and a mezzanine.



Categories: Ballast, Ties, Rail, C&S, Commuter/Regional, ON Track Maintenance