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BM5 via Woodhaven

MTA: Another snag for East Side Access project over signal testing

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https://www.newsday.com/long-island/transportation/mta-east-side-access-1.17787714

The MTA’s delay-plagued East Side Access megaproject to link the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal has encountered yet another snag, as a plan to transition to a new signal system is expected to take longer than originally scheduled, officials said.

MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber has advised the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s LIRR Committee that the East Side Access project team is “struggling with the news” from the LIRR’s signal workers that it will take longer than anticipated to test a new state-of-the art signal system being installed at the busy Harold Interlocking train junction in Queens. The testing was set to take place over this spring and be completed by May.

The impact, if any, of the snag on the completion of the overall project — now set for the end of 2022 — is not known; Lieber said the agency is looking into how to keep things on track.

It’s apparently going to take some more weekends to test than the six we had been planning for a long time,” said Lieber. “This planning has been extensive. It’s gone on for years. And we have to figure out a way not to lose schedule based on it.”

East Side Access aims to transform commutes for tens of thousands of Long Islanders by providing an alternative to Penn Station on the West Side of Manhattan and reducing trip lengths by as much as 40 minutes a day.

But the project has been plagued by delays and cost overruns since it was proposed in the 1990s with a budget of $4.3 billion and a targeted completion date of 2009. That cost estimate has more than doubled and the target completion date has been pushed back 13 years.

Currently, East Side Access is budgeted at $10.2 billion and projected to be completed by December 2022. MTA officials are expected to provide a more detailed update on the project’s budget and timeline next month.

Lieber said falling behind on testing the new signal system creates “additional schedule risk” for the entire project because of the need to coordinate all work with Amtrak, which is carrying out unrelated construction near the massive Harold junction and is needed to assist in the East Side Access effort.

Christopher Natale, general chairman of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen Local 56, which represents LIRR signal workers, took issue with MTA officials attributing the latest delays to them.

“There’s way more dynamics than just the signal work that’s causing these delays,” Natale said. “I don’t think they can blame on one single thing the amount of errors that have been made on that project.”

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven

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Does anyone know the service patterns the LIRR is planning with East Side Access? For example, will every other train per branch alternate between Penn Station and Grand Central? 

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On 4/3/2018 at 5:32 PM, N6 Limited said:

Does anyone know the service patterns the LIRR is planning with East Side Access? For example, will every other train per branch alternate between Penn Station and Grand Central? 

The Oyster Bay Branch will most likely be a shuttle, West Hempstead Branch gets abandoned. Right now I can see the Main Line, Port Washington, and Babylon Branch go to Grand Central with some service to Penn while the Long Beach, Far Rockaway and Hempstead Branches make all local stops between Jamaica and Penn Station. I'm assuming service levels stays the same, and not greatly reduced when ESA opens just so the LIRR can run Flyers between Manhattan and LI.

Edited by NY1635

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4 hours ago, NY1635 said:

The Oyster Bay Branch will most likely be a shuttle, West Hempstead Branch gets abandoned. Right now I can see the Main Line, Port Washington, and Babylon Branch go to Grand Central with some service to Penn while the Long Beach, Far Rockaway and Hempstead Branches make all local stops between Jamaica and Penn Station. I'm assuming service levels stays the same, and not greatly reduced when ESA opens just so the LIRR can run Flyers between Manhattan and LI.

The Oyster Bay Branch will be a shuttle. THEY ARE NOT abandoning service to West Hempstead. They just restored weekend service.

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41 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

The Oyster Bay Branch will be a shuttle. THEY ARE NOT abandoning service to West Hempstead. They just restored weekend service.

They restored weekend service to West Hempstead for the new apartments built near the station a few years ago. The area around the LIRR station looks blighted because of the empty lots, the IHOP at Hempstead Turnpike shutting down, and the building across the street from it closed due to a fire. The station being too close to the Hempstead Turnpike/Hempstead Ave/ Front Street intersection really hurts its accesability.

Edited by NY1635

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3 hours ago, NY1635 said:

They restored weekend service to West Hempstead for the new apartments built near the station a few years ago. The area around the LIRR station looks blighted because of the empty lots, the IHOP at Hempstead Turnpike shutting down, and the building across the street from it closed due to a fire. The station being too close to the Hempstead Turnpike/Hempstead Ave/ Front Street intersection really hurts its accesability.

The MTA is not in the business of abandoning lines.

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12 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

The MTA is not in the business of abandoning lines.

That's because Long Island won't let them abandon the lines. Right now the MTA is scrambling to figure out how to run full-time service at Belmont Park before the new Stadium opens and improve on-time performance.

  • Upvote 2

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34 minutes ago, NY1635 said:

That's because Long Island won't let them abandon the lines. Right now the MTA is scrambling to figure out how to run full-time service at Belmont Park before the new Stadium opens and improve on-time performance.

They could have just added platforms to the main line at the Belmont Park wye and converted the overpass over the Cross Island Parkway into a walkway or something.

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35 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

They could have just added platforms to the main line at the Belmont Park wye and converted the overpass over the Cross Island Parkway into a walkway or something.

The new Stadium is being built by the LIRR station at Belmont at those empty parking spaces North of Hempstead Turnpike. They can't add platforms to the Main Line because another sports area has been proposed to be built at Ronkonkoma.

 https://libn.com/2018/04/09/another-arena-pitched-for-li-in-1b-project/

 

Edited by NY1635

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26 minutes ago, NY1635 said:

The new Stadium is being built by the LIRR station at Belmont at those empty parking spaces North of Hempstead Turnpike. They can't add platforms to the Main Line because another sports area has been proposed to be built at Ronkonkoma.

 https://libn.com/2018/04/09/another-arena-pitched-for-li-in-1b-project/

 

They could add platforms, but are you saying it would be too far from the arena and therefore the arena in Ronkonkoma would be competition?

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2 hours ago, N6 Limited said:

They could add platforms, but are you saying it would be too far from the arena and therefore the arena in Ronkonkoma would be competition?

Yes, like all Downtown revitalization projects on Long Island, The new stadium at Belmont wants to feed people on the LIRR directly. It's technically competing with Nassau Coliseum over at Uniondale. I don't know how the proposed sports arena in Ronkonkoma will factor into the future.

Edited by NY1635

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How does this project get setback 13 years and have it's budget increase by so damn much?

There's nothing down there in that cavern except Bedrock, so what's the issue? Did it ruin a foundation of a few skyscrapers so now they're being re-supported?

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8 hours ago, Deucey said:

How does this project get setback 13 years and have it's budget increase by so damn much?

There's nothing down there in that cavern except Bedrock, so what's the issue? Did it ruin a foundation of a few skyscrapers so now they're being re-supported?

Because somehow, somewhere, someone thought that blowing up a hole underground bigger than the Empire State Building would be "easier" than playing nice with the sister agency upstairs.

Cancelling ARC might not have been a mistake if it turns out this is what it would've looked like.

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