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East Side Access
MTA Long Island Rail Road
Grand Central Connection

Construction Activities


Highbridge Yard in the Bronx, the new storage and maintenance facility designed and built for Metro-North Railroad as part of the East Side Access project, was substantially completed in November 2003 and is now open for operations. Located along the Harlem River near Yankee Stadium, Highbridge replaces Grand Central Terminal’s Madison Yard, which is planned to house the new LIRR East Side Access station concourse in Grand Central. Among its features: a completely electrified yard with 6 tracks for electric train storage, plus room for 3 more to store diesel trains; 2 run-around tracks; a 2-track car-appearance shop facility that can accommodate 10-car trains; paved roadways, employee parking lots and two employee platforms; an electrical substation; and yard lighting and fencing. The project also included rerouting of the Oak Point Link freight track around the yard site.





A precursor to the excavation of the Queens open-cut tunnel, this contract, completed in October 2003, involved demolition of three separate buildings along Northern Boulevard in Queens, as well as demolition and preparation work within the existing Yard A, which abuts Amtrak’s Sunnyside Yard. Work included track removal, site grading, access road construction and new trackwork to accommodate the New York & Atlantic Railway.


The open-cut excavation on the east side of Northern Boulevard in Queens will allow access to the lower portion of the existing 63rd Street tunnel – a critical link in the East Side Access alignment – 80 feet below the surface. The work involves excavating over 50,000 cubic yards of rock and soil and the installation of slurry walls, struts and concrete support slabs. The bellmouth excavation – which sets the stage for subsequent contracts for the Queens cut-and-cover tunnel and the Manhattan tunnels to the west – was completed in November 2003.


Work was completed in October 2003 on environmental remediation of the Metro-North East Yard at Grand Central Terminal, in preparation for the modifications required to replace storage tracks that will be lost by upcoming construction of the new LIRR concourse. Work included removal of running rails, the third rail and attachments, system components, asbestos-contaminated materials and contaminated timber ties and ballast. This is the first stage in the restoration of the yard, which Metro-North will continue to use for train storage. Completion of the remediation work allows Metro-North to install special trackwork and tangent track as part of their East Yard modifications.


Construction began in late 2002 on this LIRR rail yard and inspection/maintenance shop in Queens. Initially, the yard will be used for delivery, testing and acceptance of LIRR’s new M-7 cars as part of the LIRR fleet replacement program. Later it will be used to support mid-day inspection, maintenance and cleaning of rail cars used for future LIRR GCT operations. The yard and shop facility is on schedule for substantial completion by September 2004.




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