Home East Side Access Project New GCT entrance delayed until 2012

New GCT entrance delayed until 2012

by Benjamin Kabak

An entrance into Grand Central along 47th Street was supposed to open in September, but the MTA is now targeting early 2012.

In January of 2010, MTA Capital Construction announced an incremental benefit of East Side Access construction. Although at the time the project was not set to open until 2016, the MTA planned to debut a new entrance this September on 47th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues. It is not yet meant to be.

Many frequent Metro-North commuters had noted that the entrance hadn’t opened in September as planned, and I recently reached out to the MTA for an official statement on the delay. While the completion date for East Side Access has been delayed with a report on a new estimated date due out later this year, the entrance could have opened as planned. It was not meant to be, and now the MTA expects to ready this entry point early next year.

“We expect the entrance will open in the first quarter of 2012,” MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said. “Metro-North has shifted to a more sophisticated security system for Grand Central, and the entrance needs to be made compatible with the new system.”

The new entrance, when it opens, will feature an escalator from the street to the 47th St. cross passageway and a staircase from the street to the platform shared by Tracks 11 and 13. Meanwhile, we’re stilling waiting for the bad news from MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu concerning the estimated revenue service date for ESA. My money is on 2018.

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mdh November 1, 2011 - 5:14 pm

I was fortunate to take a tour today of the East Side Access project. We walked beneath Grand Central Terminal into the MASSIVE cavern that’s currently being excavated for the future platforms & mezzanine concourse. We also saw some of the construction activities beneath Grand Central that tie the terminal to the new cavern (upper concourse, vertical transportation, etc.). Crews are really working hard down there. The information that MTACC provided to us did in fact note a September 2016 opening. [Note: What particularly surprised me in the information that we received was the number of additional LIRR investments that are critical for ESA to function properly. Among them is a new substation in Queens, capacity improvements at Jamaica, track extensions at the Port Washington Yard and in Great Neck, a pocket track in Massapequa, and work at a Mid-Suffolk Yard in Ronkonkoma. The point is, there is a lot of work related to ESA that is NOT at Grand Central or just across the river in Queens.]

Jerrold November 1, 2011 - 9:06 pm

Wow! Who do you have to know to get to go on a tour like that?

Eric F. November 2, 2011 - 8:51 am

The Great Neck pocket track is apparently a Defcon 1 political issue in that town. NIMBYs would sue to stop the sun from rising if they could. The local congresperson is now involved as an informal aribter for the dispute.

SEAN November 1, 2011 - 5:59 pm

2081 anyone? LOL

Jerrold November 1, 2011 - 9:12 pm

That will probably be the actual completion date for SAS Phase 4.

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[…] church [Harlem+Bespoke] · Gloomy news about crumbling infrastructure in the US [WaPo] · New Grand Central entrance delayed until 2012 [2nd Ave Sagas] Monthly […]

Jerrold November 1, 2011 - 9:09 pm

Thanks, Ben, for covering this issue. I mentioned it last week in a Comment, but at that time nobody else responded to my Comment. At least now I know more than I did before.

Barock November 1, 2011 - 7:50 pm

Anyone know when the Bleecker St Transfer is set to open? Was supposed to be around this time, now pushed back to early next year?

Lance November 1, 2011 - 8:46 pm

According to the MTA’s capital dashboard, the transfer between Bleecker St and Broadway-Lafayette St is slated to open in January.

Bolwerk November 2, 2011 - 4:55 pm

Hmm, cool. This might actually change my sometimes-commuting pattern. I can take the M to the 6 and avoid Union Square without leaving the system.

Eric F. November 2, 2011 - 8:49 am

That was great of you to follow up on that project. By the way, sounds like a royally lame excuse for the delay. The entrance was supposed to be done two months ago, but I scouted the spot and this entrance project has way more to go than burglar alarm wiring. It looks like the very basic work is months behind schedule.

Jerrold November 2, 2011 - 9:38 am

As I said in a Comment at that time, I scouted it myself last week. You ain’t kiddin’ that it looked nowhere near finished. I HOPE that they are telling the truth about the target date of first quarter 2012. I

Bolwerk November 2, 2011 - 4:53 pm

If anyone is interested, here are some fresh pictures from the construction process.


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