Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
A $40-million construction project, designed to modernize the Massapequa Station at Sunrise Highway (Route 27), just east of Broadway and Route 107, was announced by the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Long Island Railroad. The station renovations are part of a multi-phase initiative to improve infrastructure and train service at the station that serves approximately 6,000 customers every weekday.
The first phase is scheduled to begin on May 29, and the improvements are scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2015. Over the next two years, the rehabilitation project will include the sorely needed replacement of the station platform and canopy, heated platform waiting room, escalator, elevator and staircases, pedestrian walkway over Broadway, public address system, plus the addition of signage, energy-efficient platform lighting, and a decorative granite wall adjacent to ticket office. The railroad is also starting work on the installation of a pocket track just east of the station that will significantly improve train service and frequency, as well as on-board seat availability.
The project represents the biggest improvement effort at Massapequa Station since it was raised from street level in 1953. According to the LIRR, these station improvements will be conducted in three phases, to ensure that train service continues uninterrupted throughout the project—though at times, some schedule changes may be necessary. As areas of the platform are zoned off for construction, customers may need to board at the front or back end of the train, and certain station access points may be closed. (See sidebar: What To Expect.)
“This station rehabilitation project is part of the MTA’s ongoing commitment to Long Island and will benefit thousands of customers along the south shore who depend each day on the LIRR to get them to work,” said Thomas Prendergast, MTA Interim Executive Director. MTA Long Island Rail Road President Helena E. Williams added, “The Babylon branch is our busiest line and we are investing in these improvements to better serve our customers.”
The pocket track is one of several infrastructure improvements the LIRR is making in anticipation of the completion of the East Side Access project, which will enable Long Islanders to travel directly to Grand Central Terminal and the East Side of Manhattan for the first time, beginning in 2019. The extra track space will begin paying immediate dividends when it becomes available in 2016, providing the LIRR with greater operating flexibility along the Babylon Branch.
Following the opening of East Side Access service, the pocket track will allow the LIRR to turn trains in Massapequa for return trips to Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal without traveling out to Babylon. East Side Access promises to be transformational for riders, saving commuters to Manhattan’s East Side up to 40 minutes a day.
“The strategic direction of the LIRR is to initiate actions and projects which will that benefit today’s commuter while at the same time continue with our planned long-term projects to improve efficiency and effectiveness, modernize the system and improve capacity,” said Williams. “The improvements at Massapequa Station are a key component of that plan.”
Long Island-based builder Fortunato Sons Contracting, Inc., a fourth-generation family enterprise that has done more than $50 million worth of construction directly for the Long Island Rail Road during the past two decades, is the prime contractor on the station portion of the project. Company president Barney Fortunato said the Massapequa Station Rehabilitation Project will create between 50 and 100 construction-related jobs.
For more information, pick up a Massapequa Station Platform Rehabilitation Project brochure, visit the Long Island Rail Road’s website at www.mta.info/lirr or call 511.