Rail- New York MTA marks tunnel breakthrough for East Side Access megaproject. Progressive Railroading

Posted: September 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

September 24, 2012

Late last week, sandhogs working on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) East Side Access project broke through the final piece of reinforced concrete separating newly built tunnels in Queens, N.Y., from newly built tunnels in Manhattan, MTA officials announced.

The breakthrough resulted in a continuous tunnel running more than 3.5 miles from a cavern 12 stories underneath Grand Central Terminal to four concrete-lined, 22-foot diameter tunnels several feet below the Sunnyside rail yard in Queens that soon will be connected to a MTA Long Island Rail Road mainline, MTA officials said in a prepared statement.

The connection between the Manhattan and Queens tunnels occurred underneath Northern Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens. The contract to excavate the 120-foot tunnel segment was handled separately from the other tunnel contracts because of its unique challenges, MTA officials said.

The segment has to bear the weight of Northern Boulevard, a six-lane arterial truck route leading to the Ed Koch-Queensboro Bridge, as well as a four-track subway trunk line underneath the roadway that accommodates the E, M and R line subway trains, in addition to the elevated BMT Astoria Line used by N and Q line subway trains.

“This is the most complicated and challenging 120 feet of tunnel we’ve built on any of our construction megaprojects,” said Michael Horodniceanu, president of MTA Capital Construction, the agency that is building the East Side Access project.



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