Train Shed Beneath 30-Acres of Prime Midtown Real Estate Needs Major Repairs
Similar to the platform built over the east portion of the Westside Rail Yards to create Hudson Yards, the Grand Central Terminal train shed that supports Park Avenue and its side streets was constructed north of Grand Central Terminal about 110 years ago. Roughly extending from East 43rd Street to East 57th Street, the bi-level train shed which houses 60 tracks utilized by the Metro-North Railroad varies in width, with the southern half extending from Madison Avenue to Lexington Avenue. Over the years de-icing chemicals have leaked from the streets onto the shed’s steel and concrete structure; utility lines for gas, water and other infrastructure have created punctures that have further diminished the shed’s waterproofing; and more intense rainfall due to climate change has resulted in rust and decay near ventilation points and where the curb and the street meet. Another major concern is the potential of additional new construction due to the 2017 Greater Midtown East Rezoning, the city expecting the creation of an estimated 6 million square feet of commercial space at the time of its passing without really contemplating how much more structure was required underground to support the added density. A portion of the repair work is being paid for by JPMorgan Chase as part of the construction of the financial organization’s new headquarters at 270 Park Avenue, but MTA Chief Executive Janno Lieber is hoping proceeds from the years-delayed congestion pricing tolling program will fund the broader overhaul that is estimated to cost $2.7 billion if accelerated over a 15-year timeline, or $2 billion if the timeline is stretched to 35 years.