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East Side Access
MTA Long Island Rail Road
Grand Central Connection

Milestones to Date, 1999-2004



  • Preliminary Draft Environmental Impact Statement (PDEIS) is completed and sent to the FTA.

  • Rail and transit working committees are established with Metro-North Railroad, LIRR, Amtrak, New York & Atlantic Railway and New York City Transit.

  • Public outreach meetings are held with local organizations, businesses, co-op boards and public officials. Technical Advisory and Citizens Advisory committees meet regularly.

  • DEIS public hearing is held.

  • FTA authorizes $44 million for the MTA—the ESA project’s funds for fiscal 1998 and 1999.





  • FTA approves the DEIS and publishes its notice in the Federal Register.

  • Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is submitted to the FTA.


  • FTA approves FEIS and issues the Record of Decision.

  • Bid documents are prepared for four early construction contracts.

  • First construction industry briefing is held.

  • Work begins at Highbridge Yard.

  • First public hearing for acquiring property along the alignment is held.


  • FTA gives permission to begin final design.

  • MTA board accepts findings of real estate public hearing, giving green light for property acquisition.

  • Noise and vibration testing is completed.

  • Construction contract for Arch Street Yard is awarded.

  • Noise mitigation measures are completed at Newcomers High School in Queens.

  • Switch exchange machines are purchased.

  • Queens construction office opens.

  • Construction begins on Queens access shaft at existing bellmouth of 63rd Street Tunnel.

  • Contract is awarded to demolish Superior Reed Building and prepare Rail Yard A in Queens.

  • Contract is awarded for East Yard Environmental Remediation.

  • FTA issues Letter of No Prejudice to allow construction to move forward on the Queens open-cut excavation, the Manhattan tunnels, the demolition of 47 E. 44th Street, and Wood Interlocking.


  • MTA Capital Construction Company assumes responsibility for constructing ESA project.

  • East Yard Environmental Remediation at Grand Central Terminal is completed.

  • Demolition of Superior Reed Building and preparation of Yard A is completed.

  • Slurry wall struts and concrete support slabs are installed at Queens open cut excavation at existing bellmouth.

  • Excavation of open cut at bellmouth is completed.

  • Highbridge Yard is completed.

2004 – Major Upcoming Milestones

  • Award contract for Manhattan approach tunnels under 2nd Avenue at 63rd Street.

  • Award contracts for main TBM tunnels in Manhattan and open cut in Queens.

  • Award contract for structural and civil work in GCT concourse area.



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