Long Island Rail Road Hall redone at Penn Station – NBC New York

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What there is to know

  • The newly unveiled LIRR concourse at Penn Station has nearly doubled in width, from 30 feet to 57, while ceilings have been raised to 18 feet. It stretches from Seventh Avenue near the 1/2/3 subway to Eighth Avenue near the A/C/E subway
  • Construction of the concourse is one of three major projects transforming the LIRR rider experience in the coming months, with the opening of service to Grand Central Madison and the opening of a new third track on the mainline ; the total cost of the corridor is approximately $559 million
  • “This project shows that the MTA is ready to finish transforming the seedy terminal that New Yorkers have suffered from for more than 50 years into a world-class facility,” MTA President and CEO Janno Lieber said Tuesday.

Five years after the former New York governor predicted a “hellish summer” amid extensive and long-awaited track work at a crowded Penn Station, the woman who replaced him was on hand Tuesday to launch a new Long Island Rail Road passenger concourse that the MTA wishes will be brighter, bigger and less cramped than the hellish bottleneck of Andrew Cuomo’s days.

It’s definitely wider and taller, that’s for sure. The LIRR concourse at the nation’s busiest transit hub has nearly doubled in width, from 30ft to 57ft, while ceilings have been raised to more than double its height – now reaching 18ft. The lobby stretches from Seventh Avenue near the 1/2/3 subway to Eighth Avenue near the A/C/E subway and now features 9,500 square feet of color-changing, programmable LED ceiling lights.

Governor Kathy Hochul described the concourse’s reopening on Tuesday as an on-time and on-budget step toward the full-scale reconstruction of Penn Station into a modern, spacious, world-class one-level terminal. It’s open to natural light and features a skylight, a reminder that “yes, the heavens are still out there — despite feeling like you may be living in hell,” the Democrat said in June.

MTA

Here’s a look at the new LIRR lobby at Penn Station.

Every day, more than half of Penn Station’s 600,000 riders pass through the LIRR concourse — and more than a third of them don’t even use the Long Island Rail Road for their daily commute. The lobby project is expected to be completed in early 2023 and when completed will include improved accessibility including a new elevator entrance, mechanical systems to improve air circulation and increase the volume of fresh air , intuitive wayfinding and more retail and dining options, according to the governor’s office.

However, those gathered on Tuesday could also see the exposed beams of ongoing construction – and despite posters promising the return of retail, no stores have yet opened.

“Every time I come it looks like they’re still working on it, but I guess those things take time,” said commuter Ingrid Mathison, from West Hempstead.

The Penn Station LIRR concourse reconstruction is one of three major projects that will transform the LIRR rider experience in the coming months, with the opening of service to Grand Central Madison and the opening of a new third lane on the Main Line. It’s all part of a multi-billion dollar plan to revamp the Manhattan hub to reduce overcrowding and revitalize the surrounding area.

“Penn Station is not only the busiest public transit hub in North America, it’s also the beating heart of New York City, and for far too long it hasn’t offered an experience worthy of New Yorkers,” Hochul said in a statement. “Today, we’re raising the roof of Penn Station – literally and figuratively – and paving the way for a brighter future by unveiling a wider, brighter Long Island Rail Road concourse. We’re about to make Penn a world-class transit hub and make New York an even more livable and lovable city.”

lirr hall 2

MTA

Governor Kathy Hochul and MTA President and CEO Janno Lieber were on hand for the reveal.

The unveiled LIRR Concourse project includes $380 million in public funding, with 30% of the contracts awarded to minority and women-owned businesses. The total cost of the corridor is $559 million. Construction began in June 2019 on the East End Walkway, which opened to the public in December 2020. Last March, seven 10-ton low beams known informally as “Head Knockers” – which historically limited Penn Station walkway heights to 6ft 8in have been removed.

The structures above Penn Station are now supported by an innovative structural framing system, installed by Skanska/AECOM.

“This larger, brighter LIRR lobby is just a preview of what’s to come — not just for LIRR runners but for all New Yorkers,” said MTA President and CEO Janno Lieber. , in a press release. “This project shows that the MTA is ready to finish transforming the seedy terminal that New Yorkers have suffered from for more than 50 years into a world-class facility.”

Penn Station development plan passed. Adam Kuperstein explains what the new hub will look like and when it could be finished.

Hochul’s comprehensive redevelopment plan calls for transforming Penn into a bright, modern facility that’s easy to navigate, while revitalizing the surrounding neighborhood to prioritize the public realm, invest in affordable housing, increase transit access, and create a pedestrian-friendly streetscape. New York City Mayor Eric Adams also backed the transformation.

Members of the Empire State Development Corporation voted unanimously in July to approve the $7 billion plan that asks New York, New Jersey and the federal government to cover the costs of the overhaul. New York City will also play a role, as to seal the deal, it will allow developers to demolish existing buildings near the transit center and build 10 state-of-the-art skyscrapers.

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