MTA's $590 million Park Avenue Viaduct restoration is underway

The viaduct has long been a vital artery for the city's transportation system, carrying about 98% of Metro North trains along Park Avenue, serving approximately 750 trains per day.

Edric Robinson

Nov 7, 2023, 9:29 PM

Updated 161 days ago

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has officially launched Phase 1 of a massive $590 million initiative to restore the historic Park Avenue Viaduct, which has stood for over 130 years. The project promises not only safety but a significant improvement in resilient service for Metro-North trains.
"To say that this viaduct is critical to MTA Metro North service coming into the city is an understatement," said Jamie Torres-Springer, the MTA construction & development president. 
The viaduct has long been a vital artery for the city's transportation system, carrying about 98% of Metro North trains along Park Avenue, serving approximately 750 trains per day. Nearly half of the structure was built back in 1893. Due to its age, Torres-Springer says significant portions of the viaduct have deteriorated over the years. 
“We started to see structural issues in it, we’re able to run trains on it safely but we know we have to do a full replacement,” said Torres-Springer.
He expressed the critical nature of this project but calls it an engineering marvel as full Metro North service is able to take place while construction is underway. 
“We worked with our contractors and figured out a way we can replace each of the major components with minimal disruptions,” said Torres-Springer.
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the commencement of this ambitious restoration project in October. Phase 1 of the project, which is already underway, encompasses the replacement of structures, tracks, power systems and signal systems along the stretch from East 115th to East 123rd streets. The work begins with substructural improvements below the tracks, ensuring that the viaduct can withstand the demands of modern rail service.
“Pieces of this new viaduct that are being replaced are being fabricated and produced off site. We’re going to bring in these massive gantries which are able to lift new pieces of the viaduct off of the street level and bring them up, pop them on and put them in position - we’re going to do that on weekends,” said Torres-Springer. 
He says this construction approach minimizes disruptions to the surrounding community as well.
“The MTA really believes in being a good neighbor. we’re working with the community, working with community groups to make sure that impact is as limited as it can be, “said Torres-Springer. 
The MTA said they anticipate that the entire project will be finalized by 2026, ahead of schedule and under budget. 


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