Construction Updates for Public Projects in Murray Hill

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Construction Updates for Public Projects in Murray Hill

Pershing Square West Project

Work continues on the Pershing Square West project, which will become a public open space. Originally expected to be completed by Summer 2017, it is now expected to be substantially completed by early 2018. A pedestrian and seating area will be created, and some trees will be replaced. For weekly work schedule updates, please visit the MHNA website in the Also Happening column under Traffic Change Updates. This project is managed by the NYC Department of Design and Construction.

East Side Access Project Update

The East Side Access project will provide Long Island Rail Road service to the east side of Manhattan, supplementing existing service to Penn Station on Manhattan’s west side and Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. A new 8-track terminal and concourse below Grand Central Terminal is being created. When it is completed, most of the LIRR passengers are expected to exit the station north of 42nd Street.

The East Side Access site on 37th Street and Park Avenue was re-activated from August 21 to October 3 to deliver materials to the underground construction site. After October 3, the site was reduced in size. The site will continue to be used intermittently as an access point for materials and personnel. The impact of this work is the return of the construction barriers at 37th and Park Avenue next to the Union League Club on the west side of Park Avenue. One lane of the street is closed to traffic, and a portion of the sidewalk is closed to pedestrians. Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times. The East Side Access project is expected to be completed in 2022, with impact at the street level on an as-needed basis.

This is an MTA project. For community related concerns, questions, or additional information, please contact the East Side Access Community Outreach Team: phone 855-4-MTAESA, website, email

Park Avenue Tunnel Restoration Project

The NYC Department of Transportation, Division of Bridges has been working on a new below-grade drainage system in the Park Avenue Tunnel. The project team encountered unforeseen obstacles associated with the age of the structure, which had to be resolved to keep the project moving forward.

The project is currently in the last phase of the drainage work. The contractor is removing the contaminated soil from roadway excavation and transporting it to an offsite waste facility. Once the drainage work is completed, the roadway reconstruction will follow in about a month. The east side of the tunnel roadway will be reconstructed first, and then excavation of the west side of the tunnel roadway will begin in order to reconstruct the west side of the road.

In general, work will take place weeknights between 9pm and 6am the following morning and 9pm Friday through 6am Monday morning. During the tunnel closures, traffic will be routed to the adjacent northbound service road (east side of Park Avenue). Drivers who want to go onto the elevated roadway around Grand Central Terminal should stay in the left lane as they approach 40th Street.

Queens Midtown Tunnel Sandy Restoration Project

The Manhattan Exit Plaza roadway resurfacing for the Queens Midtown Tunnel’s uptown, crosstown and downtown lanes is complete. This noisy work was a hardship for our neighbors who live near the tunnel exits. The Sandy Restoration work in the tunnel tubes continues, and is now shifting from the North Tube to the South Tube for the duration of the project.

The accelerated schedule continues so that the project can conclude sooner—by 9 months. This is still the goal, and the work is expected to be complete by summer 2018. In the meantime, one tube will be closed every weeknight from 9pm until 6am the next morning, and from 10pm on Friday night to 6am Monday morning every weekend. While one tube is closed, the other tube is always open, running 2-way traffic. MTA Bridges & Tunnels appreciates the patience of the residents and customers affected by these closures, while they move forward with this challenging but very necessary restoration work.

MTA Emergency Ventilation Project for the Lexington Avenue Subway Line

Although the Emergency Ventilation Project for the Lexington Avenue subway between 33rd and 42nd Street was not on the agenda for the MTA’s Board meeting on September 27, the Board accepted public comments on all topics. Many people testified at the meeting, including several speakers from the Coalition to Save Murray Hill, the neighborhood group formed to try to stop the MTA’s EVP, as well as other groups representing a range of interests.

At the end of the public testimony, Chairman Joseph Lhota made the following statement directed specifically to the Coalition, “I want the Transit Authority to go back to the drawing board and evaluate what is the most new and modern system so that we can make this system as safe as possible. For the time being, the proposals right now for the Murray Hill station are going to be reviewed, and we will come back to the public at a later date to talk about what options are available to make the Lexington Avenue line as safe as possible.” You can see a video of this statement at this link (at time 4:00:28):

Photo: Pershing Square West construction, in progress.



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