MTA Press Releases

Press Release
October 31, 2018
MTA Awards Final Major Construction Contract for East Side Access
Award of $60.2 Million Contract Affirms Project on Track for 2022 Opening

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that it has awarded the final major construction contract needed to begin Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Terminal in 2022. Through this contract, workers will relocate tracks in Harold Interlocking in Sunnyside, Queens, to create space for an 800-foot structure 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 that structure. The contract, awarded to Skanska USA Civil Northeast, is valued at $60.2 million, and includes two options that, if exercised, would bring the total value to $62.5 million. The work is expected to take 27 months.

This contract, known as CH058A Tunnel B/C Approach Structure, also includes 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.

The contractor is required to design and provide temporary support for the 39th Street Bridge while the excavation and construction is underway below.

Skanska USA Civil Northeast, one of the five qualified bidders for this contract, submitted the lowest bid for the work. A formal Notice of Award, being announced today, allows the contractor to begin early planning, surveying and administrative work. A Notice to Proceed, which gives the contractor full authority to begin work in earnest, will be issued in the coming months, dependent on the completion of crucial prerequisite work in the area.

Janno Lieber, MTA’s Chief Development Officer, said: “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.”

East Side Access’s Senior Program Executive Rob Troup said: “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. I look forward to working with our contractors and our railroad partners to achieve this goal.”

East Side Access is the MTA’s largest capital project, with work spanning three boroughs and extending deep below Park Avenue in Manhattan. It is the first expansion of the Long Island Rail Road in more than 100 years and a critical component of the modernization of the Long Island Rail Road. This project will deliver for Long Island Railroad customers on all 11 branches of the railroad, quicker commutes, fewer delays, greater reliability, and more options. Long Island Rail Road riders will now have direct access to the east side of Manhattan, easing crowding in and around Penn Station. Along with other Long Island Rail Road modernization projects, the completion of ESA will enable the MTA to meet the demands of Long Island’s growing population.