Phase 1 of the project, extending from East 115th Street to East 123rd Street along Park Avenue, includes replacement of the existing steel structure as well as new tracks, power, communications,...

Phase 1 of the project, extending from East 115th Street to East 123rd Street along Park Avenue, includes replacement of the existing steel structure as well as new tracks, power, communications, and signal systems.

Photo: MTA/Trent Reeves

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) successfully replaced the first section of the aging 130-year-old Park Avenue Viaduct without disrupting Metro-North service.

The replacement represents a major step toward ensuring this critical transportation infrastructure remains in a state of good repair and enables Metro-North to continue safely delivering record on-time performance.

Metro-North’s Park Avenue Viaduct

The Park Avenue Viaduct is an elevated steel structure that carries four Metro-North Railroad tracks and serves all Metro-North trains traveling into and out of Grand Central Terminal, totaling 750 trains every weekday.

The recent operation utilized two gantry systems, which extend over the viaduct to remove and replace the existing concrete and steel bridge deck with new prefabricated bridge units, weighing around 190,000 pounds each.

The innovative approach helped MTA Construction & Development, in partnership with Metro-North Railroad, perform this work better, faster, and cheaper and without significant disruption for riders.

“All Metro-North trains to and from Grand Central Terminal pass over the Park Avenue Viaduct, which is more than 130 years old,” said Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi. “Replacement of this structure is a priority state of good repair project that is critical to our ability to provide safe and reliable service. We are thrilled that this project is underway, and we will continue to work closely with MTA Construction & Development to minimize impacts to our service.”     

 

Park Avenue Viaduct Phase 1 

Phase 1 of the project, extending from East 115th Street to East 123rd Street along Park Avenue, includes replacement of the existing steel structure as well as new tracks, power, communications, and signal systems.

Substructure construction to replace the viaduct’s foundations and columns began in September 2023 and construction for Phase 1 will continue through 2026.

The first round of work is part of the $590 million earmarked for the first phase of the Park Avenue Viaduct Replacement project, of which $500.9 million is federally funded.

The entirety of the Park Avenue Viaduct runs from the entrance of the Park Avenue Tunnel at East 97th Street to the Harlem River, however, the Park Avenue Viaduct Replacement project focuses on the structural elements in need of repair dating from the 1890s between East 110th Street and the Harlem River Lift Bridge, spanning 1.8 miles.

The reconstruction of the viaduct will ensure the railroad continues to provide safe and reliable Metro-North train service.

For the first four months of this year, the railroad averaged an on-time performance of 98.7% — notably, February’s on-time performance was 99.3% — and the service-delivered rate, a service reliability measure, averaged 99.9% for the first four months.

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