New York’s famous transportation icon, Grand Central Station (more properly Grand Central Terminal) celebrated the 100th anniversary of it’s opening on February 2, 2013. This rail terminal is more than just a means of travelling from point A to B, but it is a romantic, and grandiose metaphor for the hustle and bustle of American life. While the structure is definitely a cultural and architectural monument, it is also an engineering marvel, a fact recognized in 2012 by ASCE when it named it a National Civil Engineering Historic Landmark.
While the centennial of the GCT is being celebrated, a new project is taking shape approximately 90 feet below the existing tracks. The East Side Access project (ESA) will provide a new connection from the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to GCT. This project will help alleviate the strain on Penn Station, as a study performed at the outset of the project indicated that a higher percentage of Penn Station subway riders actually worked closer to Grand Central. To New Yorkers who are familiar with the geography of the area, I’m sure the following project description from Wikipedia makes sense, to me…it makes my head spin! The map from the MTA is a bit easier to follow.
Extending between Sunnyside, Queens, and Grand Central, the project will route the LIRR from its Main Line through new track connections in Sunnyside Yard and through the lower level of the existing 63rd Street Tunnel under the East River. In Manhattan, a new tunnel will begin at the western end of the 63rd Street Tunnel at Second Avenue, curving south under Park Avenue and entering a new LIRR terminal beneath Grand Central.
The cost of the project is estimated to be in excess of $8 Billion with a completion date of 2019. I’ve compiled a list of some interesting articles on Grand Central Terminal and the East Side Access Project. At the bottom of this article is a list of some previous GeoPrac posts on the East Side Access Project and another mega project from the NY MTA, the Second Avenue Subway Project. Enjoy!
Great Reading on GCT and the East Side Access Project
- Tectonic Engineering provides QC and geotechnical support to NY East Side Access project – Source: Tectonic
According to their website, Tectonic Engineering and Surveying Consultants is providing "special inspection and materials testing for all soils, cast-in-place concrete, asphalt, structural steel, precast concrete, shotcrete, earth anchors, blast monitoring, pile driving, grouting and underpinning for three separate contracts involving tunneling, site work and mined caverns." That’s quite a project!
- Grand Central Terminal (Wikipedia) – Source: Wikipedia
If you have some time, there is some fascinating information here on GCT…it’s history, architecture and other interesting facts.
- Grand Central Terminal is named a national historical civil engineering landmark – Source: mta.info
‘ASCE President Andrew W. Herrmann noted that Grand Central Terminal joins other American engineering marvels such as the Washington Monument and the Erie Canal, as well as the Brooklyn, George Washington and Golden Gate Bridges.’ This short article has some nice bullet points about the engineering of the GCT.
- East Side Access – Source: Hatch Mott MacDonald
Hatch Mott MacDonald provided program management and Tunnel Specialist services for the East Side Access Project. HMM also provided construction database management services and tunneling equipment review during construction.
- Devising a Digital Dry Run for Transportation Projects – Source: Parsons Brinckerhoff Bulletin
This PB Article is about their work in 3D and 4D transportation project visualization. The last project at the bottom of the page is the East Side Access Project. I’d love to be able to see that model in more detail!
- Flickr: NYMTACC’s ESA Photostream
This is the Flickr stream for the NY MTA’s East Side Access Project. Updated frequently with photos from construction.
- MTA Capital Construction – East Side Access – Source: NY MTA
This is one of the main pages for official information on the ESA project.
- East Side Access Project – Source: Wikipedia
Previous GeoPrac Posts on East Side Access Project and Second Avenue Subway Project
- Jet grouting in Queens for MTA East Side Access Project – Performed by GeoPrac sponsor Hayward Baker!
- Ground Freezing and Tunneling for New York MTA’s Second Ave Subway – This is a different NY MTA capital project, the Second Avenue Subway. This cool piece of work (ba-dum-bump!) was performed by another GeoPrac sponsor, Moretrench.
- Nicholson and SolData Working on Six of the Ten Largest Tunneling Projects in North America – One of the projects is the Second Avenue Subway project in Manhattan. Nicholson is another GeoPrac.net sponsor! How cool that these world-class geotechnical construction firms are sponsoring GeoPrac! I’m humbled when I think about it.
- Blasting for NY subway construction showers street with debris – Whoops. If you’re going to make an omlet, you gotta crack a few eggs, right?
- New York MTA Project Updates – Unfortunately the Tunnel Business Magazine link in this post is broken, but this one should work.
- Buildings above New York MTA’s Second Ave Subway alignment need $6-8M in Repairs
- Tunnel-Boring Machines Are On the Move in New York City – As-of June 2010 there were 7 TBM’s working or under construction in the New York metro area…a Sand Hog’s paradise!
- Nicholson Awarded a Contract on the MTA’s Second Avenue Subway Project
- NYC Subway Tunneling Begins Under Second Avenue, TBM Launched
- URS Corporation
General Engineering Consultant is Tri-Venture Team of:
- Parsons Brinckerhoff
- STV Incorporated
Consultant Construction Management Services
- Joint Venture Team
- Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., Edwards & Kelcey
- LiRo Group