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12 Years Late, $7B Overbudget, LIRR Link To Grand Central Complete

Richard Drew

The $11 billion East Side Access project to connect the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal in New York City is finished with construction.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said after years of delays, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expected to open the route by December 2022.

“It is redesigning the entire Long Island Rail Road experience, which is very important, because Long Island is part of this economy, and making that commute work is vitally important," Cuomo said.

The project was supposed to be finished in 2009 at around $4 billion. Delays were blamed on union contracts and overbidding.

The new connection to New York City is expected to reduce commute time by up to 40 minutes and relieve traffic at Penn Station. Cuomo said that will increase track space for Metro-North trains to arrive in midtown Manhattan.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.