Sunday, October 31, 2021
East Side Access Officially Opens December 2022 Bringing Faster, Direct Service for Long Island & Queens commuters to the East Side of Manhattan
Increased Rail Capacity Will Reduce Crowding on Trains, Subways and in Penn Station
Governor Kathy Hochul today joined the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to take a special Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) test train to Grand Central Terminal and gave the public one of the first-ever looks at the new 350,000-square-foot East Side Access passenger terminal there. This is the largest new train terminal to be built in the United States since the 1950s and the first expansion of the LIRR in more than 100 years. Together with the LIRR third track project, the new connection will add 50 percent to the LIRR's capacity into Manhattan with up to 24 trains per hour and cut travel time for Queens and Long Island commuters traveling to the east side by 40 minutes per day. It will also reduce crowding on commuter rail, at Penn Station and on the subway by dispersing commuters and allowing passengers to go directly to Grand Central Terminal from destinations across Queens and Long Island. The new commuter rail route and concourse officially open in December 2022.
"The East Side Access concourse is a model for modern transportation systems as we look to the post-pandemic future," Governor Hochul said. "As the first modern train terminal to be built in more than a half century, the East Side Access concourse will expand rail service, cut down on travel times into East Manhattan from Queens and Long Island, and reduce crowding. This is yet another example of New York leading the way as we recover from the pandemic, and I look forward to the East Side Access concourse and route fully opening in December 2022."
The East Side Access concourse at Grand Central Terminal includes a 350,000-square-foot LIRR passenger concourse just below street level that will offer new entrances along Madison Avenue, 25 retail storefronts, WiFi and cell service, new art installations and digital signage with real-time train information. The entrance at 347 Madison Avenue being built at 45th Street as part of the redevelopment of the MTA's former headquarters alone is expected to serve 10,000 people a day.
Seventeen high-rise escalators, 182 feet in length and the longest in the MTA system, will connect commuters between the new world-class concourse and mezzanine of the train terminal 140 feet below Park Avenue. The mezzanine in turn leads to an upper train level that has two platforms and four tracks, and a lower train level that similarly has two platforms and four tracks.
Trains will enter the concourse from a newly activated tunnel that carries two tracks as it passes under the East River at 63rd Street. The two tracks then fan out to four, then eight on the two levels.
In Queens, crews have built a new yard with space for up to 300 rail cars, and fully updated Harold Interlocking, the busiest passenger railroad intersection in North America, including the installation of 97 new track switches, 295 poles that carry overhead wires used by Amtrak, five new steel railroad bridges, and 8,445 feet of retaining walls. Overall, the project includes more than 40 miles of new track, nearly 13 miles of newly excavated tunnels, 44 ventilation fans, 550 miles of cable and 975 security cameras, 15 overhead gantries that display train control signals, and 14 huts alongside the tracks containing signal system components.
Originally conceived of in the 1960s, the project was developed in the 1990s with work beginning in earnest in Queens and Manhattan in 2006. East Side Access contractors have accomplished several engineering feats over the years, including blasting under Grand Central Terminal with limited impact to rail operations, mining under both Northern Boulevard and the elevated and underground subways in Queens and expanding the capacity of Harold Interlocking.
In addition to relieving congestion at Penn Station, East Side Access will enhance New York's competitive standing in the global economy by providing a new link to business centers on the East Side and supporting job growth around Grand Central Terminal. When the project is complete, operational efficiency through Harold Interlocking will be greatly improved, benefiting travelers all along the Northeast Corridor. For the first time, ADDRD tracks will make reverse commuting from New York City to Long Island a realistic option for the region and will allow East Midtown and Metro-North Railroad customers to be able to connect to JFK Airport via the Long Island Rail Road and the Jamaica AirTrain.
103,348 Vaccine Doses Administered Over Last 24 Hours
32 COVID-19 Deaths Statewide Yesterday
Governor Kathy Hochul today updated New Yorkers on the state's progress combating COVID-19.
"The vaccine is the best tool we have to prevent a spike in our numbers like we saw last year," Governor Hochul said. "Now with booster shots available, it is crucial that New Yorkers continue to do what's best for their communities and their loved ones. If you haven't already, please get your vaccine today. It's safe, effective, free, and readily available."
Today's data is summarized briefly below:
- Test Results Reported - 199,641
- Total Positive - 3,977
- Percent Positive - 1.99%
- 7-Day Average Percent Positive - 2.13%
- Patient Hospitalization - 1,864 (-49)
- Patients Newly Admitted - 219
- Patients in ICU - 455 (-14)
- Patients in ICU with Intubation - 254 (-2)
- Total Discharges - 208,169 (+244)
- New deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 32
- Total deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 45,541
The Health Electronic Response Data System is a NYS DOH data source that collects confirmed daily death data as reported by hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities only.
- Total deaths reported to and compiled by the CDC - 57,913
This daily COVID-19 provisional death certificate data reported by NYS DOH and NYC to the CDC includes those who died in any location, including hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities, at home, in hospice and other settings.
- Total vaccine doses administered - 27,133,175
- Total vaccine doses administered over past 24 hours - 103,348
- Total vaccine doses administered over past 7 days - 545,740
- Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose -84.2%
- Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series -76.5%
- Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 87.4%
- Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 78.6%
- Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose - 71.4%
- Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series - 64.8%
- Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 74.1%
- Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 66.5%
Alexandria isn’t afraid to speak truth to power and yesterday was no different.
For the first time ever, oil executives were questioned under oath about whether their companies misled the public about the reality of climate change.
Alexandria had the chance to ask Exxon CEO, Darren Woods, about the company's lobbying efforts – specifically in regards to the two pieces of legislation currently being negotiated in Congress. Through her questioning, he admitted to meeting with members of Congress during the reconciliation and infrastructure process.
She then confronted the President of the American Petroleum Institute about their $55.6 million in lobbying over the last 10 months alone. But she didn’t just focus on figures alone, because this crisis is personal.
She said: “I think one of the things that often gets lost in these conversations is some of us have to actually live in the future that you all are setting on fire for us.”
Exposing the role of dark money and Big Oil lobbying in Washington is vital, but it also makes our campaign a key target of attacks.
The American Petroleum Institute spent almost half a million dollars on ads opposing Democratic members of Congress. Those ads, which include ads that targeted individual members of Congress for their support of climate action policies, were viewed at least 21 million times, according to Facebook data.1
We’re nearly one year out until Alexandria’s re-election and we need to be prepared to fight back against Big Oil’s disinformation campaigns. We’re counting on the power of many small-dollar donations to go up against their millions.
Alexandria will continue to fight for climate justice and to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their lies.