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Lhota: LIRR East Side Access Project Facing Delays

The East Side Access project will connect the Long Island Rail Road with a new concourse underneath Grand Central Terminal. This photo shows construction underway on September 19, 2011. (credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority Flickr/Patrick Cashin)

The East Side Access project will connect the Long Island Rail Road with a new concourse underneath Grand Central Terminal. This photo shows construction underway on September 19, 2011. (credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority Flickr/Patrick Cashin)

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MELVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – It now appears Long Island Rail Road trains won’t be stopping at Grand Central Terminal until 2019.

That’s the word Tuesday from Joseph Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The MTA is building a new tunnel under the East River to allow LIRR trains access to Grand Central. All LIRR trains now go to Penn Station.

Lhota says there have been problems tunneling underneath a rail yard in Queens. The MTA has brought in experts from Europe to help with developing a plan going forward.

The $7.4 billion mega project has been plagued with delays and far-off completion dates. It was originally supposed to be finished by 2015 and part of the project was even fast-tracked back in January.

Once complete, the perks will include extra trains at Grand Central and a new LIRR train station in Sunnyside.

For more information about the project, click here.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)