Back in January, Amtrak unveiled its $24B Gateway Program, a plan that would overhaul the Hudson River rail tunnels by building a brand new tunnel and repairing another that is currently in disrepair. Work under the plan would also encompass expanding Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan and replacing rail bridges in New Jersey. While details on the course of construction were previously thin, according to draft proposals obtained by Reuters, we now know that work on the new tunnel will begin in 2019, and the West Side Highway could be subject to three years of traffic jams as a result.
Empire Station Complex
In a presentation (pdf) Tuesday at the Association for a Better New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that plans for transforming a revamped Penn Station-Moynihan Train Hall complex into a “world-class 21st century transportation hub” were back on track and ready to roll, complete with a slew of new renderings and the selection of a developer-builder team including the Related Companies, Vornado, and Skanska AB, to redevelop the Farley Building.
When Governor Cuomo announced his $3 billion revamp of Penn Station earlier this month, skeptics were quick to point out that all the glassy new structures and reconfiguration of waiting rooms won’t do anything to help the fact that the Hudson River rail tunnels are crumbling. Clearly on the same page, Amtrak announced yesterday a detailed overview of the entire infrastructure project, and it comes in at a whopping $23.9 billion.
According to the Times, “the largest share of about $7.7 billion [will go towards] building the new Hudson tunnel and repairing the existing tunnel. The project includes a host of other elements, including expanding Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan at an estimated cost of $5.9 billion, and replacing rail bridges in New Jersey.”
6sqft asked readers yesterday if Governor Cuomo would finally be able to get the Penn Station overhaul off the ground, after various news outlets reported that he would be announcing a plan to do just this. The majority of you said it wasn’t going to happen, but it looks like the long-envisioned project has just gotten one step closer to reality.
During a press conference yesterday at Madison Square Garden, the Governor revealed that he’ll be heading up a major revamp of Penn Station, which he called “un-New York,” according to Gothamist. The more than $3 billion redevelopment has been dubbed the Empire Station Complex, and a request for proposals will go out this week, due back in 90 days (not good news for the decade-old deal with developers Related Cos. and Vornado Realty). As expected, it includes the long-stalled Moynihan Station project that will convert the adjacent Farley Post Office into a large waiting area, similar in size to the main room at Grand Central. This will increase the size of the nation’s busiest transit hub by 50 percent and will connect to the current station by a network of underground tunnels. Though several options are on the table for a redesign, the renderings released by the Governor’s office show a glassy and light structure that’s quite unlike the current space that Cuomo described as “dark, constrained, ugly, a lost opportunity, a bleak warren of corridors… a miserable experience and a terrible first impression.”