FEBRUARY 2019 • LONGISLANDPRESS.COM 19
MTA officials give visitors to the East Side Access project an overview
of some of what they will see on a two-hour tour. (Photo by Bruce Adler)
A worker walks through one of the new East Side Access project
tunnels (Photo by Bruce Adler)
DOWN THE TUBES
BY JAMES BERNSTEIN
After decades of delays and billions in cost overruns, the Metropolitan Transportation
Authority now says there is light at the end of the tunnel for the East Side Access
Project — one of the biggest public works program of its kind in the nation — that will
provide a direct route for Long Island Rail Road commuters to Grand Central Terminal
in Manhattan for the first time.
The ESA, as it is known, is 72 percent completed, according to the latest MTA data.
MTA officials say LIRR service to Grand Central is now slated to start in December
2022. When it does begin, the service will accommodate some 160,000 riders per
day, the MTA said. LIRR riders will be able to skip changing at Penn Station for the East
Side, saving them about 40 minutes of commuting time, round trip.
The MTA, to bolster its claim that the project is finally coming to an end, is lately
providing reporters and citizens tours of the cavernous underground area where some
2,500 sandhogs work in shifts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
WHAT’S INSIDE continued on page 20
21 MOVERS &
23 CORNER OFFICE 25WHOLLY MOLI26EVENTS 29
BEST OF LI
MTA SEES LIGHT AT END OF TUNNEL FOR EAST SIDE ACCESS PROJECT, BUT SKEPTICS REMAIN