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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 16, 2010

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES FEDS AWARD $83 MILLION IN NEW FEDERAL STIMULUS FUNDING FOR MOYNIHAN STATION PROJECT - KICK-START LONG AWAITED PROJECT


With New Funding Phase I Can Now Begin

Moynihan Station Was the Perfect Fit for Stimulus Funding because it Creates Jobs, Upgrades Aging Infrastructure, and Will Create A New Engine for Economic Growth in NY

Schumer: We've Got the Money - Now Let's Get to Work

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the federal government will award $83.3 million to get the Moynihan Station project up and running. The funding will come from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). The long-awaited Moynihan Station project will create thousands of good paying construction and related industry jobs and kick start development across the West Side. Last year, shortly after the ARRA was approved, Schumer pledged to fight to secure stimulus funding for the project. Schumer said completing the long awaited station would create an economic engine to restart development across the entire West Side; growth that has stalled with the national economic collapse.

 

“We’ve got the money, now let’s get to work. I am so proud to have secured this vital funding to get the long awaited Moynihan Station project up and running,” Schumer said. “The best way to get New York’s economy moving again is to keep building and the best project to get things started is Moynihan Station. Moynihan Station is the poster child for the best way to use federal funding – it creates jobs, upgrades aging transportation infrastructure, and leaves behind an economic engine for the entire region. I want to thank Governor Paterson, New York State DOT, the Moynihan Station Development Corporation, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Amtrak for working so hard together on this project.”

 

The $83.3 million in funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, which was created in last year’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The program will award $1.5 billion in funding for transportation projects that demonstrate a significant national impact.  Eligible projects include (but were not limited to) highway and bridge, mass transit, freight or passenger rail, and port projects.  Applicants could apply for a minimum of $20 million, and a maximum of $300 million.

 

This funding will go towards Phase I of the project. Phase I, according to the New York State Department of Transportation, consists of:

 

  • Expanding the existing West End Concourse by doubling its length and width, to significantly enhance passenger circulation space. The WEC would be extended to Penn Station’s southern retaining wall, providing access to 17 tracks as compared to the 9 tracks served today. The larger WEC will be of benefit to NJT and Amtrak passengers and will serve all the LIRR tracks. The WEC will be large enough to accommodate ticket vending machines for LIRR passengers, who now must buy their tickets at the other end of Penn Station.

 

  • Providing thirteen new West End Concourse vertical access points to and from the platforms, plus six additional elevators, stairs and escalators between the WEC and the Farley Building, significantly reducing the time required for platform clearance. Vertical access is critical at Penn Station, because the tracks are located three levels below grade, and the speed with which passengers can get in and out of the station has a direct bearing on train throughput. Vertical access is particularly important at the west end of Penn Station, because the existing tracks and platforms extend under the Farley Building, but today there is little or no vertical access from this end of the platforms. The WEC expansion is critical to maximizing the use of the existing track level infrastructure at Penn Station.

 

  • Providing two new above grade entrances west of 8th Avenue into the Farley Building, improving access, decreasing congestion at Penn Station and opening up the Moynihan/Penn Station complex to the development district to the west. Passengers will be able to enter the station at the corners of 31st and 33rd Streets through the historic Farley Building and new improved public plazas. The entrances will flank the magisterial staircase leading up to the retail lobby of the Post Office and will restore some of the grandeur associated with entering the station that was lost when the original Penn Station was torn down in the 1960’s.

 

  • Expanding and renovating the existing 33rd Street Connector between Penn and the West End Concourse by doubling its width. This will accommodate passenger flow between Penn, the West End Concourse, and Moynihan Station, as well as provide direct access to the 8th Avenue A, C, and E subway lines, and to the NJT station under 34th Street that will open when NJT completes the tunnel under the Hudson River now under construction.

 

Improving Penn Station safety and security by creating new platform ventilation beneath Farley. Six new ventilation fan rooms would provide additional, much needed emergency platform ventilation capacity and include critical design elements and features that would adhere, to the maximum extent practicable, to safety guidelines.

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