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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has awarded the first of three contracts to fabricate and build permanent structural concrete lining, interior structures and fit-out caverns and tunnels excavated beneath Grand Central Terminal in New York City for the East Side Access project.The $200 million contract was awarded to Michels Corp. for work that will occur in the caverns and tunnels in the south segment of the future MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) terminal below Grand Central, MTA officials said in a press release.The contract is being paid for with federal and local funds."This contract begins the construction on the interior work that 160,000 weekday LIRR customers will experience when the new LIRR station terminal opens below Grand Central," said Michael Horodniceanu, president of MTA Capital Construction.The East Side Access project will connect LIRR's Main and Port Washington lines in Queens to a new terminal beneath Grand Central. The new connection is designed to increase LIRR's capacity into Manhattan and dramatically shorten travel time for Long Island and eastern Queens commuters. Each cavern will contain four tracks, an upper and lower level platform and a mezzanine, MTA officials said.