When Arsenio Hernandez would like to visit his daughter in Connecticut, he has to take the Long Island Rail Road from the Westwood station in Malverne to Pennsylvania Station, then walk to Grand Central to catch a Metro-North train. But when the East Side Access project is completed, Hernandez will be able to take the train from Westwood straight to Grand Central station.
“It would be so much easier,” Norma Van-Vleet, Hernandez’s daughter, said.
The project would begin in Long Island City, Queens, and would extend west toward the 63rd Street Tunnel, which runs below the East River, just north of the Queensborough Bridge. At 63rd and Park in Manhattan, the new LIRR tunnels head south to Grand Central Terminal at 42nd Street, where trains will arrive and depart on eight platforms, and passengers will enter and exit Grand Central Terminal via a 180-foot-long escalator.
Nick Marzano, a Malverne resident, said that having the Long Island Rail Road extend to Grand Central Station would alleviate some of the congestion on his commute to the Flat Iron District each day. Jonathan Schwam, who is originally from Malverne, also said that the project would not help him because he already lives in Manhattan, where he works, but it would help some commuters he knows.
“That would help a lot of people out,” he said.
The East Side Access project is not expected to be completed until at least 2022, and will cost $10.178 billion.