09/21/2012 02:53 pm ET

MTA Finishes LIRR Tunnel Connecting Grand Central To Queens

NEW YORK — Manhattan and Queens have never been closer.

The MTA broke down a final concrete wall Thursday to create a new Long Island Railroad tunnel between Grand Central Terminal and Sunnyside, Queens.

The tunnel is part of the MTA's $8.24 billion East Side Access project, scheduled to finish in 2019. The ambitious plan features a new LIRR terminal beneath Grand Central, shortening commutes for thousands of riders and marking the first expansion of the railroad in more then a century.

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