New York commuters between Manhattan's East Side and Long Island are chugging a little closer to relief as human workers have replaced boring machines on construction of the East Side Access commuter rail project.

A massive hub is being built 15 stories below New York City's famed Grand Central Terminal,  with ceilings as high as six stories and dozens of high-speed escalators that will lead down to a 350,000-sq-ft LIRR concourse, which will have two levels of platforms with eight tracks.

"We can all see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel," said Janno Lieber, who came to the state-run Metropolitan Transit Authority a year ago, told the Associated Press about how he'll bring the $11 billion project to completion by a new deadline in four years.

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