New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo officially unveiled the design last month for the new entry, which will give commuters direct access to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) and the city's subway system. The project, which also includes three escalators, one stairway and an elevator, will see one LIRR concourse widened from 30 feet to 57 feet and the ceiling height increased to a uniform 18 feet. The renovation also includes the addition of retail and dining venues, as well as a new wayfinding system involving the creation of a direct line of sight to the tracks and new lighting.
The new entrance is scheduled to be open to commuters in December 2020.
The addition of a new entrance is just part of a multibillion-dollar program to improve rail and rail-related services in the New York City metro area.
In December 2017, the MTA awarded a $1.8 billion design-build contract to 3TC — a joint venture that includes Dragados USA, John P. Picone Inc., CCA Civil, Inc., Halmar International LLC, Stantec and Cameron Engineering — to build a third track for the LIRR. Combined with the consulting contracts, the project's total value is estimated to be approximately $2.6 billion. The 9.8-mile project, which is expected to be completed by late 2022, should reduce congestion during peak use on one of the busiest stretches of the LIRR.
Across the street from Penn Station, the $1.6 billion conversion of the James A. Farley Post Office Building into Moynihan Train Hall also began in 2017. When complete, the 255,000-square-foot hall will have nine train platforms, 17 tracks and a skylight — plus 700,000 square feet of retail and other commercial space — and will provide an underground connection to Penn Station. The new train hall will also serve as Amtrak's headquarters in New York City and as a hub for the LIRR.
Related Cos., Vornado Realty Trust and Skanska USA, under a fixed-price design-build contract, is performing the conversion. They also put $630 million into the deal in order to secure operating rights.
Where New York has not been able to gain much traction is the $13 billion replacement of the Hudson River tunnel system between New York and New Jersey. The states said they received a 50% commitment from former President Barack Obama, but President Donald Trump's administration has maintained there was no such deal. In a reiteration of his position against federal funding of the tunnel, Trump did not provide money for the project in his 2020 budget request.