Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently unveiled final design renderings for the new main entrance to Penn Station.
The project is estimated to cost approximately $600 million, with $170 million of the total being allocated from the current 2015-19 MTA capital program. The remaining funds are being allocated by the state.
The new entrance will be located at 33rd St. and 7th Ave., providing much needed direct access to the Long Island Rail Road Main Concourse and the New York City Subway.
The project, which will begin construction in June, will eliminate congestion by doubling customer access and egressing capacity to the LIRR level when it is completed in 2020.
In addition, the governor announced that the overall Penn Station redevelopment master plan – which includes the creation of the Moynihan Train Hall – continues to move forward, which will fully transform Penn Station into a modern, world-class transportation hub.
The entrance will be the main entry point for passengers and is scheduled to open in December 2020.
Presently, the Penn Station entrance on 34th St. is the only direct way to enter the LIRR level, and the concourse and its existing egress facilities are highly congested, with congestion certain to increase in the future. By creating the new entrance at 33rd St. and 7th Ave., the project will relieve the potential congestion and the serious safety concerns it creates.
The new entrance will connect passengers directly to the LIRR Main Concourse from 33rd St. and 7th Ave., and will include three escalators, a stairway and an elevator. The project will widen the LIRR 33rd St. Concourse from its current 30 feet to 57 feet to allow easier access to trains and reduce potentially dangerous crowding.
The design will also increase the ceiling height to 18 feet across the entire concourse, eliminating the 7 and 8-foot high areas that have, for decades, made the station experience feel cramped and less spacious. Lighting will be improved and more intuitive wayfinding will be provided to passengers. LIRR customers will also have new direct sight lines to track level and there will be additional retail and dining options in the concourse as well.
The project is part of the overall Penn Station redevelopment master plan, which is moving forward and includes additional work to redevelop the remaining areas of Penn Station, as well as completely transforming the old Farley Post Office building into the new Moynihan Train Hall. As part of the master plan and in collaboration with the MTA, beginning this summer, a functional and operational assessment will take place to develop additional plans to reconfigure the station. The assessment will then be completed with extensive community engagement to refine the plans.
The train hall is also set to open in December of 2020 and will bear the name of one of its great champions – the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
LIRR and Amtrak trains will be served by the nine platforms and 17 tracks that will be accessible from the Moynihan Train Hall, reached by eleven new platform escalators and seven elevators. The Train Hall will create direct access to the train station from 9th Ave. for the first time.