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Getting LIRR trains to Grand Central was carried out flawed so some ways – New York Day by day Information

The East Facet Entry challenge bringing LIRR trains into Grand Central opening as we speak isn’t 25 days late from its deliberate 2022 completion, embarrassing Gov. Hochul and MTA officers who aimed for Dec. 31. It’s a decade late and billions over price range.

The tardiness and waste isn’t the fault of Hochul and MTA Chair Janno Lieber, however of many errors going again a really lengthy technique to when it was first envisioned on the time of the MTA’s creation in 1968.

After the brand new East River tunnel was constructed in 1972, it stalled and was revived by Gov. Pataki within the Nineties, with a price below $3 billion. However years of haggling ensued, together with a horrible error of not utilizing the present decrease stage of GCT, as a result of each the LIRR and Metro-North stupidly and selfishly refused. Pataki ought to have pressured the siblings to share, however as a substitute we needed to hew a brand new station out of strong rock very deep beneath Park Ave.

When the contract was signed with feds in 2006, the value was $6.3 billion with a end date of 2013. Washington was to pay $2.6 billion and New York the steadiness. However for the reason that remaining value got here to $12.7 billion, double the price range, New York needed to eat the complete overrun of $6.4 billion. So we get a station that’s far too deep underground for handy touring, costing far an excessive amount of and arriving post-COVID when rush-hour commuter rail use is about half of what it as soon as was and will by no means totally return. A reasonably unhealthy cut price.

One other missed likelihood was not digging a worthwhile connection from Grand Central to Penn Station, as a result of NJTransit didn’t wish to chip in. Manhattan ought to have two rail stations utilized by all of the three commuter strains and Amtrak. However the railroads all need their very own, like a brand new Penn annex for NJT.

President Biden is coming to city subsequent week to tout Amtrak’s Gateway $47 billion boondoggle. Study from our errors: reduce Gateway, make the railroads share Penn and construct that GCT hyperlink.

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