Project Includes New Covered Platform, Platform Waiting Room, Elevator & Escalator

Wantagh Station

A new and improved Wantagh Station is getting underway. MTA Long Island Rail Road announced the primary contractor for the planned $23.9 million rehabilitation project. Fortunato Sons Contracting, Inc., will lead the venture expected to create 100 construction jobs.

The infrastructure investment at Wantagh, financed by the MTA Capital Program, will include a new concrete platform, segmented canopy, platform waiting room, escalator, elevator, lighting, communications system and signage as well as a distinctive public art project. It’s all part of the first significant upgrade of the facility since it was built nearly 50 years ago. The addition of an elevator will make the station ADA accessible for the first time.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced an initiative to speed up station enhancement projects by changing MTA contracting procedures to enable one private sector company to build to its own designs. Although the design of the Wantagh station modernization was already completed prior to this new initiative, the LIRR is closely monitoring this “design-build” approach, which is being undertaken at other LIRR projects as well as 31 New York City Transit subway stations, in order to adopt best practices for its future capital projects.

The LIRR currently expects it will take two years to complete the project, which must be carried out in stages so as not to impact train service. But in keeping with the Governor’s initiative, the LIRR will also work with the contractor to identify ways to speed the timeline for the project. During construction, when one end of the station platform or the other is closed, customers will have to follow detour signs to the active portion of the station. In addition, a limited number of parking spaces will be temporarily affected along the station plaza. The LIRR will be alerting customers to these changes in advance by posting signs, making public address announcements and issuing customer service alerts via email or text message.

MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast said: “This station rehabilitation project is part of the MTA’s ongoing commitment to Long Island and will benefit thousands of customers who depend each day on the LIRR. Governor Cuomo has made clear that New York State needs to support projects like this, which create construction jobs and help the local economy.”

LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski said: “Wantagh Station is going to look spectacular when this project is complete. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s commitment to the MTA, the LIRR continues its modernization efforts across Long Island with the Wantagh Station Rehabilitation Project. The Babylon branch is our busiest line and we are investing in these improvements to better serve our customers.”

The Wantagh Station project also features a permanent public art project under the MTA Arts & Design Program. MTA Arts & Design selected artist Marc Dennis’ proposal for a colored art glass scenes depicting an idyllic day at nearby Jones Beach decorating waiting room windows. Colorful and realistic paintings of birds, beachgoers, sunsets, seashells and fish will be translated into glass for the completed artwork. In addition, mosaic panels at stairways will highlight ocean waves and the shoreline.

Fortunato Sons Contracting, a fourth generation family enterprise, is no stranger to the Long Island Rail Road having completed two other LIRR projects in recent years, the Massapequa Station platform rehabilitation and the construction of the LIRR’s new train wash facility in Babylon.