- The U.S. Department of Transportation announced last week that it will make a $537.1 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to Empire State Development for the $1.85 billion renovation of the Pennsylvania Station–adjacent Farley Post Office Building into the Moynihan Train Hall, according to Equipment World.
- Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a press release that the new New York City transportation facility would relieve congestion along the North East Corridor of the U.S. and be able to meet the demands of future train travel in the region.
- When complete, the new train hall will handle all arrivals and departures for those traveling on Amtrak in and out of New York City and function as Amtrak's headquarters there. Moynihan Train Hall will also serve as a hub for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) Long Island Rail Road.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the MTA, Amtrak and a joint venture between Related Cos., Vornado Realty Trust and Skanska USA will finance the project balance of $1.3 billion. The joint venture, which is performing the construction under a $1.26 billion design-build contract, contributed $630 million to secure the operating rights for Moynihan Train Hall once construction is complete.
The existing Farley Post Office will undergo a 255,000-square-foot renovation, and the construction team will also build 112,000 square feet of retail and 588,000 square feet of office space in the same building. Construction is underway and should be complete in 2020.
The Moynihan Train Hall is one piece of a complete Penn Station renovation. When the entire revamp is finished, an underground concourse will connect them. The Penn Station portion of the project will see an upgrade to two subway stations, the addition of digital passenger information screens, modernization of lighting and an expansion of a heavily traveled corridor within the station.
Across the country, the Orange County (CA) Transportation Board approved a $675 million TIFA loan last month from the USDOT to help finance the last phase of construction for its Interstate 405 Improvement Project. Secretary Chao is expected to soon give final approval for the transaction. County officials said the low-interest loan will save taxpayers approximately $300 million and that it would be repaid with tolls collected from motorists who use the new I-405 express lanes.