$220 Million Project Reopens Grand Central Tunnel That Was Closed For 29 Years

Justine Golata Justine Golata

$220 Million Project Reopens Grand Central Tunnel That Was Closed For 29 Years

Under a project to improve transit in New York City, a Grand Central tunnel has been reopened for the first time in nearly 30 years.

One Vanderbilt Avenue is working to accommodate high numbers of commuters, growing beyond the current 750,000 people that pass through Grand Central Terminal. Funded by SL Green and designed by Stantec, $220 million will be put towards transit improvements as the East Side Access is projected for a 2023 completion responsible for the influx in commuters.

Courtesy of Stantec

The newly re-opened tunnel connects Grand Central Station to to the Socony-Mobil Building at 150 E. 42nd Street (now a New York City landmark). The tunnel was first completed in 1955 and makes up a 215-ft route, according to the New York Times and apparently closed in 1991. The tunnel was built for an alternative and easier route workers at the Socony-Mobil Building could take to avoid crowds.

According to the Times, construction of the tunnel was very complicated as builders had to steer clear of telephone wires, gas mains, power cables and mail tubes. An entire water main even had to be looped over the tunnel’s roof!

Courtesy of Stantec

Commuters now have an additional 3,815-square-feet of space thanks to the tunnels re-opening. The reopening could not have come at a better time, granting more space when social distancing is essential for the safety of the city.

The tunnel’s reopening is part of the transit improvement project alongside the construction of a new skyscraper, One Vanderbilt. Besides the tunnel’s reopening, the project will open a 4,000 square foot public transit hall inside One Vanderbilt, and a 14,000 square foot common plaza on Vanderbilt Avenue.

Under the One Vanderbilt’s transit improvement project, besides the tunnel’s reopening, two new street-level subway entrances and an additional entrance to the 42 Street station were added.

featured image source: Courtesy of Stantec

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