New York East Side Access

Cardno field crew performing a pre-work safety check in front of a vacuum excavation truck

Cardno provided Subsurface Utility Engineering services to provide detailed utility mapping and coordination to contractors and consultants on the USA’s largest transportation infrastructure project.

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s East Side Access (ESA) is the largest transportation infrastructure project being undertaken in the United States. Construction commenced on the $10 billion plus rail project in 2002 and is scheduled for completion in 2022. 

Prior to our engagement by URS Corporation, contractors were damaging subsurface utilities, causing costly delays and outages. When Cardno deployed its Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) expertise, downtime was dramatically reduced as we provided detailed utility mapping and coordination to contractors and consultants. 

Utility designation markings on pavement indicating subsurface utilities

Cardno continues to provide SUE at Sunnyside Yards, Woodside Station and Grand Central Terminal, including designating utilities through Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Amtrak territories. This work incorporates detailed utility investigations, drafting of utilities designated on base topography maps, confined space, utility structure data sheets as well as utility test holes using vacuum excavation and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). 

The ESA project involves the expansion of the busiest commuter rail line in America, the LIRR. It will provide a new terminal and concourse below Grand Central Terminal for all 11 LIRR branches and includes 11 miles of tunneling in Queens and Manhattan. 

When complete, the ESA will increase the LIRR’s capacity in Manhattan by 45 per cent and shorten travel time for 162,000 commuters per day travelling from Long Island and eastern Queens to Manhattan’s east side by 40 minutes.