Sep
27

East Side Access completion date postponed to 2018

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When the MTA Board gathered for its most recent meeting in July, the authority’s leaders addressed concerns over the East Side Access Project’s rate of progress. With federal officials predicting a 16-month delay, the MTA admitted that it had exhausted its schedule contingency for a variety of reasons. This week, we learn that the authority has officially delayed the project completion date to April 2018, sixteen months later than scheduled. “This is a project facing significant challenges,” MTA CEO and Chair Jay Walder said during subcommittee meetings yesterday.

Ultimately, shaky project management as well as conflicts with Amtrak over the Harold Interlocking has led to these delays, and the news is only going to get worse for LIRR riders. Beginning in October and continuing through 2015, Amtrak is set to replace the track in all four of its East River tunnels after inspections following a May derailment found significant track damage. The work will take place in 55-hour spurts over nearly every weekend until 2015. Tracks will be out of service from 10 p.m. on Fridays through 5 a.m. on Mondays and during some weekday overnight periods. The LIRR says the work will have “little or no impact” on its service, but the work will leave less operating flexibility during the weekends. This tunnel work will delay work on the Harold Interlocking which, in turn, will delay the East Side Access project.

Meanwhile, official recognition of this delay leaves me worried over the fate of the Second Avenue Subway as well. At the same time they predicted this postponement, the Feds also said that SAS was likely headed toward a similar fate. Such a substantial delay along the Upper East Side would be disastrous for the neighborhood and for the MTA politically. Meanwhile, as foreign transit agencies build at a quick rate and for less money, the MTA is stuck with a deep cavern north of Grand Central for upwards of $8 billion and 12 years of construction. That’s a problem.



16 Responses to “East Side Access completion date postponed to 2018”

  1. Lawrence Velázquez says:

    It’s going to take three years for Amtrak to replace the East River tracks?

  2. BrooklynBus says:

    How many postponements have there been now?

    When will 2018 become 2020?

  3. jon says:

    Slightly off topic, but can anyone imagine the nightmare if there was a derailment in the North River tunnels. At least LIRR can still have 2 or three tunnels available to them over the weekend.

  4. SEAN says:

    Who didn’t see this one comeing. Does anyone know how long it took to move the storage yards from GCT to Highbridge? I ask because that semed to move rather quickly compared to the rest of the project.

  5. Larry Littlefield says:

    If they had just hooked into to some of the existing tracks at GCT, and used those tracks more intensively, they’d be done now. You tell me MetroNorth could not spare eight tracks?

  6. Phil says:

    Larry it has been stated many times and I will state it again. Doing it that way would have required a greater amount of work to accomplish due to where the tunnel was coming from.

    I think they should get to a point where they can stop working and only have to worry about minor projects to finish it off and mothball the project for few years, spend the money to shore up other parts of the road.

    They should also shit can the Port Jervis line.

    • pete says:

      Port Jervis line is the most profitable line the MTA has. 5 stations are millions in subsidies since Rockland and Orange are part of MTA Tax District yet have no MTA subways, MTA buses (there are county public buses), and less than a dozen MTA railroad stations.

  7. Robert says:

    “Meanwhile, as foreign transit agencies build at a quick rate and for less money, the MTA is stuck with a deep cavern north of Grand Central for upwards of $8 billion and 12 years of construction.”

    Meanwhile, over in China, “Hundreds of people were injured Tuesday when a subway train slammed into the rear of another train in a sprawling transit line that had opened just last year in Shanghai.” For more, read Shanghai Subway Crash Inures Hundreds

  8. Robert says:

    “Meanwhile, as foreign transit agencies build at a quick rate and for less money, the MTA is stuck with a deep cavern north of Grand Central for upwards of $8 billion and 12 years of construction.”

    Meanwhile, over in China, “Hundreds of people were injured Tuesday when a subway train slammed into the rear of another train in a sprawling transit line that had opened just last year in Shanghai.” For more, read Shanghai Subway Crash Inures Hundreds

  9. pete says:

    Its faster and easier to win World War 2 than the construction of the Second Avenue subway.

  10. Andrew says:

    Good. Maybe SAS will open before ESA. ESA before SAS will spell a disaster on the Lex.

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