Take A Look Inside The Cavernous Construction Zone Below Grand Central Terminal

East Side Access 7

Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

New York City, which already has the country’s largest mass transit system, is in the midst of an ambitious $8.3 billion development project to build a new concourse beneath Grand Central Terminal.The construction site, located 16 stories below the station, will grant the Long Island Rail Road access to Manhattan’s East Side. Currently, Penn Station is the exclusive location of the LIRR in Manhattan.

When it’s completed in 2019, the new station will bring in an estimated 160,000 Long Islanders each day, according to the AP.

But for now it’s an astoundingly large construction site, standing eight stories high and with six miles of tunnels in the works. The MTA periodically releases construction photos on its Flickr page; here are some highlights from the latest batch.

The terminal in Grand Central will connect to the Main and Port Washington lines of the Long Island Rail Road.

The terminal will greatly reduce the commute times for people travelling from Queens and Long Island to Manhattan's East Side.

This is where an escalator bank will connect the Long Island Rail Road concourse to the main level of the terminal.

Workers in the caverns below Grand Central Station use dynamite to create a concourse for Long Island Rail Road trains.

Conditions in the unfinished site are wet and humid.

Workers need to use heavy machinery to remove enough rock debris to could cover Central Park.

The concourse will be eight stories high, 70 feet wide, and 1,800 feet long.

The Federal Transit Administration is contributing $2.7B of the $8.3B budget.

The MTA will cover the other $5.6B using mostly taxpayer money.

The East Side Access project is just one of three huge transit projects in NYC with a combined budget of $15B.

The other projects are the extension of the Second Avenue subway and the extension of the No. 7 subway to the Hudson Yards.

Now see how the construction is coming along on the extension of the No. 7 subway line.

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