MTA Construction at Queensboro Plaza

The MTA is doing something for over a year now, but every day I drive by with the subway, it just looks like a crane playground, with no real work done. Or a place where you could get your crane drivers license. Or just bulldozing for fun? A complete mystery, like most of the MTA’s operations.
Update: it is the 63rd Street Tunnel extension, or east side access, connecting Grand Central Station with Long Island and Amtrak.
Digital, about 12000x2000px.


  1. logic

    Nice shot. I have been wondering the same thing and the best I can come up with is that it has to do with the 2nd Avenue Subway project. If you look directly across Northern Blvd from where you shot this (other side of N/W train) you’ll see a MASSIVE hole in the ground and a conveyor belt. The conveyor belt is actually routed ACROSS the street, suspended under the subway tracks. My guess is that the MASSIVE hole in the ground is the entry point for the Tunnel-Boring Machine (TBM) that they’re cutting the 2nd Ave tunnel with (starting in LIC though???), and the conveyor transports the cut rock out of the tunnel and across Northern Blvd, into the pile that is in the left 1/3 of your image. Hence the large front-loader and the quarry truck parked there. Since you took this photo in ’06, the pile of rock has grown to be about 3 stories tall, which I’m sure you’ve already seen.

    Oh, btw — your panoramas are absolutely sick. Keep it up!

  2. Joergen

    It is part of the MTA plan to connect Grand Central with the LIRR. They are digging a new tunnel at 63rd Street, and this is the place where it will emerge and connect to the tracks. You are right, the excavation pile is pretty tall (April 2008), I wonder where and when they will move it. I will probably attempt to take another panorama, just to document the progress. I was hoping that they would put up a lot of lights for the site, but it’s pretty much pitch black there at night.
    Thx for your comment.

  3. Marc E

    So far as I understand it, as part of the Capital Construction Plan for East Side Access, Amtrak will have an opportunity to re-structure the Sunnyside Yard and upgrade maintenance facilities in the yard.

    Lovely blog. I’ll have to subscribe to your feed.

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