May 17, 2013
MTA LIRR Announces $40 Million Facelift for Massapequa Station
Work Starting on Platform Modernization & Installation of Pocket Track East of the Station that Will Allow the Railroad to Increase Service on the Babylon Branch
MTA Long Island Rail Road President Helena E. Williams was joined by State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo Jr. (R-Merrick) and other local officials today to mark the beginning of a $40 million construction project to modernize the LIRR’s Massapequa Station.
Over the next two years, the LIRR will replace the station platform, canopy, staircases, elevator and escalator as well as the platform waiting room, lighting, public address system and signage. The Railroad is also starting work on the installation of a pocket track just east of the station that will improve train service and frequency as well as on-board seat availability.
The project represents the biggest improvement effort at Massapequa Station since the station was raised from street level in 1953. The LIRR will carry out the work in three phases arranged to ensure that train service continues uninterrupted throughout the project, though some schedule changes may be necessary at times.
"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. “Governor Cuomo has made clear that New York needs to support projects like this, which will create construction jobs and help the local economy across Long Island."
“Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s commitment to the MTA, the LIRR can continue its modernization effort across Long Island with the Massapequa Station Rehabilitation Project,” President Williams said. “The Babylon branch is our busiest line and we are investing in these improvements to better serve our customers.”
Sen. Fuschillo, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, said: "This project is a $40 million investment in the Massapequa community. Improvements such as a new platform, platform waiting room, escalator and elevator will tremendously enhance the quality of life for the many commuters who use the Massapequa station each day. I am pleased that we worked together with LIRR to secure funding for this much needed rehabilitation project.”
Williams and Fuschillo were joined at the event by State Senator Kemp Hannon (R-C-I-Garden City), Assemblyman Joseph Saladino (R- Massapequa), Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt (R-East Meadow) and Nassau County Legislator Michael Venditti (R-Massapequa). The funding for the project is included in the MTA’s Capital program, which is approved by Gov. Cuomo and state legislative leaders.
Also in attendance was Barney Fortunato, president of Fortunato Sons Contracting, Inc., the Long Island-based builder and prime contractor on the station portion of the project. Fortunato Sons is a fourth generation family enterprise that has completed over $50 million worth of construction directly for the Long Island Rail Road during the past two decades, most recently the Babylon Train Wash project. Fortunato said the Massapequa Station Rehabilitation Project will create between 50 to 100 construction-related jobs.
When completed in 2015, the finished project also will feature a permanent work of art under the MTA’s Arts for Transit program.
Additional Infrastructure Improvements Are Coming
The station renovations are part of a mult-phase initiative to improve infrastructure and train service in Massapequa, a station that serves approximately 6,000 customers every weekday. Recently, the LIRR completed the repainting of the Broadway Bridge at the west end of the station. The Railroad will also be adding a pocket track just east of Massapequa Station to will help improve train service and frequency as well as on-board seat availability.
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 great operating flexibility along the Babylon Branch.
Following the opening of East Side Access service, the pocket track will allow the LIRR to turn trains for return trips to Penn and Grand Central Terminal without traveling out to Babylon. First stop Massapequa! East Side Access promises to be a transformational event in the history of transportation on Long Island, saving up to 40 minutes a day for Long Islanders who commute to the East Side.
“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.”
Demolition work will start soon and, at times, customers will need to board at the front end or back end of the train, and certain station access points will be closed, as areas of the platform at zoned-off for construction.
“Our goal is to complete the project with the least amount of inconvenience to our riders,” said Williams. “We are cooperating with the Town of Oyster Bay and we will be updating the community through our website, station posters and flyers as work progresses. We ask for the public’s patience and understanding as we move forward.”
Massapequa Station Construction Schedule
Phase 1A: Spring 2013-Winter 2014
- Closure of the western portion of the platform.
- Closure of the western Broadway stairway, pedestrian overpass and eastern Broadway stairway.
- Closure of the platform waiting room.
- Installation of temporary waiting room east of the elevator.
- Escalator removed and temporary stairs installed.
Phase 1B- Winter 2013-Summer 2014
- Closure of the remaining western half of platform.
- Elevator is closed.
- Closure of stairway in west underpass.
Phase 2: Summer 2014-Summer 2015
- Open rebuilt western half of platform and new waiting room.
- Open new elevator.
- Close eastern half of platform and east underpass.
Massapequa Station Pocket Track Construction Schedule
Phase 1: May-June 2013
- Bridge Delivery & Installation
Phase 2: April 2014 – March 2016
- Track Level Work for Pocket Track
For More Information
Customers or members of the community with questions about the work at Massapequa Station should pick up a Massapequa Station Platform Rehabilitation Project brochure or visit the Long Island Rail Road’s website at www.mta.info/lirr and click on FAQs/Contact Us at the upper left hand corner of the screen. The LIRR can also be reached by calling the 511, the New York State Transportation Information Number and saying: Long Island Rail Road when prompted.