NEW YORK — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority project to bring Metro-North commuter rail service to Penn Station via Amtrak’s Hell Gate Line, while building four new stations in the Bronx, has barely begun — but is already facing notable delays.
Bloomberg reports Jamie Torres-Springer, president of MTA Construction and Development, told an MTA board committee meeting Monday that the Penn Station Access project is facing a seven-month delay. Groundbreaking was held in December. The problem, Torres-Springer said, is that Amtrak has not been providing full access and manpower needed for the MTA to proceed with its work.
“The good news is that Amtrak acknowledges these problems and in part, due to that strong agreement that we negotiated with them, they’re working collaboratively with us on a recovery schedule,” Torres-Springer said.
Still, the target for completion of the project has slid from March to October of 2027. The contract for the $2.87 billion project was awarded in December 2021 [see “MTA awards contract …,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 16, 2021]. More information on the project is available here.
The MTA has said that problems with Amtrak were a major contributor to cost overruns on the East Side Access project, which was finally concluded last week with the opening of the Grand Central Madison station [see “Grand Central Madison, terminal for MTA’s East Side Access, debuts,” News Wire, Jan. 25, 2023]. Construction of the Long Island Rail Road line to Grand Central required coordination with Amtrak for construction at Harold Interlocking — the nation’s busiest — and the MTA has said there were major problems with that coordination.
“This is the dynamic that got East Side Access into the hole,” MTA CEO Janno Lieber said at Monday’s meeting, according to the website The City. “There’s probably a billion dollars of extra costs in East Side Access, maybe more, from the problems that that project had.”