East Side Access project

Art, Midtown East, Transportation

Yayoi Kusama, 2020 Photo by Yusuke Miyazaki © YAYOI KUSAA Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro, David Zwirner

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has tapped two contemporary artists to create permanent artwork for the long-awaited 700,000-square-foot Long Island Rail Road terminal opening at Grand Central this year. MTA Arts & Design, the agency responsible for commissioning public art in subway stations, announced artists Yayoi Kusama and Kiki Smith will design site-specific floor-to-ceiling mosaics for the new terminal, dubbed Grand Central Madison.

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Midtown East, Policy, Transportation

Photo by Marc A. Hermann / MTA on Flickr

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s long-awaited 700,000-square-foot East Side Access Project will be renamed “Grand Central Madison.” The project, which brings Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Terminal, will increase LIRR service systemwide by 40 percent during morning peak service and significantly increase reverse peak service. Grand Central Madison is expected to open in December.

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Midtown East, Policy, Transportation

Governor Kathy Hochul rode a test train from Jamaica to the East Side Access complex at Grand Central Terminal on Sun., October 31, 2021. (Marc A. Hermann / MTA) Flickr

The project that will bring direct Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Terminal hit a major milestone this weekend. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Sunday rode the first passenger LIRR train into the new concourse at the Midtown East transit hub and gave the public a first look at the terminal. Expected to officially open in December 2022, the East Side Access project will provide direct service to Manhattan’s east side for Long Island and Queens commuters, while also reducing crowds at Penn Station.

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Midtown East, Transportation

grand central terminal, amtrak, intercity rail service

Via Wikimedia

It was announced today that a $60.2 million contract to build the project that will bring the Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Terminal was awarded to construction and development company Skanska. The award represents the final heavy civil contract in the MTA’s largest largest capital project and one that marks the first expansion of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) in over 100 years.

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Policy, Transportation

Workers at East Side Access project in 2016 via MTA’s Flickr

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved on Wednesday an amendment to its capital plan that allows for more than $400 million to be invested in the East Side Access, a project that began more than a decade ago. In addition to exceptional construction delays, the project’s price tag has jumped dramatically, from early estimates of roughly $2.2 billion to now over $11 billion (h/t NY Times). As a way to reduce crowds at Penn Station, East Side Access will connect the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal.

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Major Developments, Midtown East, Transportation

Grand Central, One Vanderbilt, SL Green

As part of a five-year, $210 million plan to significantly upgrade Grand Central’s subway station, developer SL Green hopes to install new staircases to the train platforms, two new street-level entrances and a refurbished mezzanine level, and a 4,000-square-foot ground-level commuter waiting area. The improvements were conceived in conjunction with the MTA and the de Blasio administration earlier this year as the first component of the Midtown East Rezoning project.

The transit upgrades must all be completed before tenants can occupy One Vanderbilt (planned for completion in January 2020), SL Green’s new 65-story office tower planned for the entire block west of Grand Central and north of East 42nd Street. Designed by Kohn Pederson Fox, the tower will be the second-tallest building in the city when completed.

More on the upgrades ahead

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