New Yorkers just can’t win. Long Island Railroad commuters hoping to travel to Manhattan’s Grand Central Station will have to wait another decade and shell out another couple billion dollars before the ‘East Side Access’ project is complete.
The project was approved in the late 1990s thanks to the support of federal and state officials. When the East Side Access project launched in 2001, it was expected to cost about $4 billion and be finished by 2013. New projections have the project costing upwards of $10 billion with a completion date of 2021 or beyond.
“I don't know if you saw this, but they are talking about the waste in Russia. They just built like an $80 billion road or something like that… They just built this highway for some ungodly sum of money, and there's no way that that road cost them that kind of money. It was just greed and graft. They're just bilking the people,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “Why would we have to go and look at Russia when we can go look at Long Island? Long Island has a railroad extension, [and] it is now nine years out of whack.”
The price tag for a vast new train station being built for the Long Island Rail Road beneath Midtown Manhattan could top $10 billion and its completion date could stretch into the next decade, officials said.
Officials from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will present a new timeline for the project, known as East Side Access, to members of the MTA board on Monday, and now believe trains might not run into the station until 2021 or beyond.
Amid the disappointment with the latest delays, the project executive overseeing East Side Access is departing, according to a person familiar with the matter. Alan Paskoff, a senior vice president at the MTA's Capital Construction division, will leave the agency in April, according to this person.
“And think of this. Think of this story: From $4 billion to $10 billion; from 2013 to 2020 or beyond,” Stu said. “This of this every time your local official tells you they are going to build a new train – a new fancy train that's going to bring you to the stadium; that's going to bring you to the new neighborhood; or the new mall. Think of this every time they say it because this is how it turns out. Every single time, without exception. All of them.”
This is just the latest example of what the lack of accountability in government breeds. When no one is forced to take responsibility, costs run out-of-control and expectations don’t need to be met.
“There's no accountability in government. There's none. It is so circuitous… it just keeps going around in a circle,” Glenn concluded. “Nobody is ever to blame. You never get to the bottom of this. You never have anybody that you can actually blame it on. And they like it that way… So the money is all gone, and all you get in the end is frustrated and poorer.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP