NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is getting another $203 million in federal funding for its East Side Access project.

The MTA is in the process of building tunnels and tracks under Manhattan so that the Long Island Rail Road can connect to Grand Central Terminal.

“This is the first expansion of the LIRR in 100 years,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney told 1010 WINS. “This project, along with the Second Avenue subway, are the largest construction projects not in New York City, not in New York State, but the largest mass transit construction projects in the entire country.”

Maloney and other elected officials presented a check with the funds to the MTA on Saturday.

“This year’s installment brings the total that Congress has appropriated to the East Side Access to $2.2 billion of the promised $2.7 billion,” Maloney told WCBS 880. “Another $5.3 billion from the state will cover the rest of this nearly $8 billion effort.”

LIRR trains now end at Penn Station. The MTA, however, said it expects some 162,000 commuters would prefer to end their trip at Grand Central.

“We’ll bring Long Island Rail Road trains into Grand Central Terminal, improving services for thousands of New Yorkers, increasing capacity on a very overcrowded system, reducing commuting time, and improving the business climate in the great city of New York,” Maloney said.

Construction began in 2006, and is expected to end in 2023, 1010 WINS reported.

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