Construction updates in Murray Hill
Sunday, August 18, 2019
Updates on the ongoing public construction projects in the neighborhood.
Park Avenue Tunnel Restoration
The Park Avenue Tunnel is closed while work is being done on the tunnel roof restoration. Lattice girders are being installed across the entire length of the tunnel. The girders provide a support system for the tunnel roof. The girders are then covered with shotcrete, a concrete mixture that is sprayed over steel reinforcements. NYC Department of Transportation will keep the tunnel closed to expedite this phase of the work, which is expected to be completed by the end of August. After the roof restoration is completed, the work to repair the walls at the north approach will begin, as well as the replacement and installation of the new carbon monoxide monitoring system and new lighting.
Infrastructure Replacement Project on 2nd Avenue and surrounding areas
The New York City Department of Design and Construction began the Infrastructure Upgrades along 2nd Avenue and Surrounding Areas Project (MED607) in the summer of 2018, with an anticipated completion date of fall 2021. Approximately 30-40% of the 12 inch distribution water mains, 40% of the gas mains, and 50% of catch basins and chute connections are installed and completed at various locations.
During the next months, excavation and installation of the 20 inch water mains will continue. Sometime during the early fall of 2019, excavation for the installation of trunk water mains will begin north of 34th Street, along the west side of 2nd Avenue. Utility work will also be ongoing at various locations including, but not limited to, gas main upgrades or installation, steam and electric work.
East Side Access 37th Street Site and Grand Central
The East Side Access is a project to provide Long Island Rail Road riders a faster, direct access to the east side of Manhattan, easing overcrowding in and around Penn Station. The ESA is expected to be open by 2022.
Most of the work around Grand Central is deep underground. Large mechanical equipment for heating, air conditioning and ventilating the future concourse and terminal have been installed 140 feet below the streets of Manhattan. A multitude of rooms to support terminal operations and for retail tenant spaces are under construction. Work is ongoing for the four high-rise escalator wellways which will contain 17 escalators.
Surface level operations in Murray Hill are at Grand Central Terminal and the concrete drop-off site at 37th Street and Park Avenue. In the Biltmore Room on the upper level of Grand Central Terminal, the contractor is working on floor openings for two future passenger escalators, which will connect directly to the new LIRR concourse below. ESA will maintain a worksite in the Biltmore Room until passenger service begins. Concrete deliveries will ramp up at sites throughout Manhattan. The concrete drop site at 37th Street that was demobilized in late 2016 will become active again to support construction in the tunnels.
As reported in the New York Post in April, Governor Cuomo ordered an independent review of the East Side Access project.
Queens Midtown Tunnel
As previously reported, the restoration of the QMT following damage caused by Hurricane Sandy is substantially complete. However there is occasionally work at that site. Our community liaison for the QMT tells us that nighttime tube closures are needed sporadically for special maintenance, testing the flood gates, etc. They will continue to have nighttime single-lane closures in one or both tubes for tunnel-washing, routine maintenance and repairs, as needed. During daytime hours, both tubes will remain open with full capacity, unless there’s an inspection or emergency repair.
Work began in July to improve the Tunnel Entrance and Exit Streets at the QMT, Manhattan side. The work to rehabilitate the sidewalk walls, masonry, and sidewalk will include replacement of damaged bricks and any loose material, as well as cleaning and clearing away some of the weedy growth within the tunnel's property limits. The work begins on Tunnel Entrance Street, between East 40th and East 39th Streets, and will progress south in stages to the next blocks of Tunnel Entrance, through the fall before moving on to Tunnel Exit Streets. The work will require a single south-bound lane closure for the block being worked on, while the other lane remains open to traffic. The work will be from 7am to 3pm unless otherwise noted. The QMT management team has directed contractors to be mindful of neighbors and the public.