MTA 2011 Highlights: Mega Projects Taking Shape
In 2011, the MTA focused on delivering on some long-promised benefits for our 8.5 million customers. This is the last in a daily series that recaps the best of 2011.
In some places—like Manhattan's East Side and coming into New York City from Long Island—our system was simply not built to handle the demand it's facing today as the region continues to grow. MTA Capital Construction is addressing these constraints by expanding our transportation network for the first time in over 60 years. Remarkable progress was made in 2011:
No. 7 Extension
Structural work at the future 34th Street Station is now complete. Work also began in September on the project's last major contract. This systems contract includes rail track, all mechanical, electrical and related systems throughout the tunnels, station, ventilation buildings and the main subway entrance at 34th Street. Completion of this contract is the last piece needed to initiate service on the No. 7 Line Extension in December 2013.
Fulton Street Transit Center
The Fulton Street Transit Center is more than 50 percent complete and on track for its scheduled June 2014 completion.
All structural work has been completed on the A/C mezzanine and final finishes are going up including glass tiles and LCD-lit advertising panels on corridor walls. Other elements of the complex continue to progress. Structural steel for the Transit Center building has been completed and the dome cladding is ongoing. Restoration of the historic Corbin Building is continuing inside the 1888 landmark and is expected to be complete in late 2012.
Some components of the Transit Center have already been completed and opened for customer use, including the rehabilitated 2/3 Fulton Street Station, new 4/5 Fulton Street Station southern entrances, and the new entrance at 135 William Street.
Second Avenue Subway
A tunnel boring machine reached the Lexington Ave-63rd St. station in September breaking into the existing tunnel and marking the completion of tunneling for the project. Phase I work continues along the Second Avenue corridor on the three new stations at 96th, 86th, and 72nd Streets.
When Phase I is complete in December 2016, it will decrease crowding on the adjacent Lexington Avenue Line by as much as 13 percent, or 23,500 fewer riders on an average weekday.
East Side Access
The first expansion of the LIRR in over 100 years, East Side Access is the largest transportation project in the country and is nearly 50 percent complete. Two separate tunnel boring machines completed the excavation of tunnels under Manhattan earlier this year. Work continues underneath Grand Central Terminal on the caverns and future LIRR concourse. On the Queens side, soft ground tunneling for the first tunnel was just completed in December.
After the completion of the overall project, LIRR trains traveling through Sunnyside will be able to travel directly to Grand Central Terminal. Commuters heading to the east side will save up to 40 minutes on their daily commute and those heading to Penn Station will enjoy a less crowded, more comfortable ride.