Wednesday, October 12, 2016

MTA: Jamaica Center upgrade part of East Side Access and better Atlantic Terminal service (by 2022); leaves slack for Vanderbilt Yard delay

Long Island-based attendees of Barclays Center events, who are most notably New York Islanders fans, will ultimately get a boost from an upgrade to Jamaica station and the implementation of East Side Access, a plan to bring Long Island Rail Road trains to Grand Central Terminal.

The MTA on 9/21/16 announced, among other things $64.9 Million Contract Award to Improve Jamaica Station:
The new platform and tracks at Jamaica station will allow the LIRR to more easily re-route trains, take tracks out of service and support supplemental train service to and from Atlantic Terminal for customers attending games and events at the Barclays Center. The new platform will also feature glass-enclosed, heated waiting areas, as well as Wi-Fi and USB charging stations allowing customers to stay connected and charge their phones while they wait for the train. In addition, New York-based artist James Little will create brightly colored art glass installations on the station’s westerly bridge, and also on the stairs leading from the new station platform to the AirTrain mezzanine.
...The new platform at Jamaica, slated to open in 2019, is one in a series of the LIRR system-wide capacity improvement projects, which also include an uninterrupted second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, and a third track on the Main Line from Floral Park to Hicksville, as well as the East Side Access project to bring LIRR trains into Grand Central Terminal. Once East Side Access is complete, the new platform at Jamaica station will dramatically enhance service between Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and Jamaica Station, enabling shuttle trains to depart every 7½ minutes during rush hour and every 15 minutes during off-peak hours, which will provide a significantly higher level of service than that available under current timetables.
(Emphases added)

East Side Access also depended on a new Vanderbilt Yard in Brooklyn to store and service trains. As I wrote in 2012, until that year, the MTA had been predicting 2016 as the start date; hence the requirement, in the 2009 revision of the Vanderbilt Yard deal, for the railyard to be finished by 2016.

But East Side Access was delayed, and the new goal became 2019. Now the expectation is
December 2022.

And the railyard is due by the end of 2017, according to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park developer Greenland Forest City Partners. If for some reason that schedule slacks, well, a delay surely would be accepted by the MTA.

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