Governor Cuomo unveils ambitious plans to overhaul New York’s Penn Station

City Terrain, East, News, Urbanism
Friday, January 8, 2016
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(Courtesy NYS Governor's Office)

Aerial view of the Empire State Complex (Courtesy NYS Governor’s Office)

The lead-up to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s State of the State address feels like a government-backed encore of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Instead of lords a-leaping and swans a-swimming, Cuomo brings infrastructure upgrades a-plenty in his 2016 Agenda.

The governor promised funds to the Gateway and East Side Access tunnels, the Javits Center, new Metro-North stations in the Bronx, the MTA (wi-fi a-comin’!), and an airport on Long Island. Arguably the biggest proposal is the Empire State Complex, a $3 billion redevelopment of New York City’s Penn Station and its surroundings.

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Pictorial> Take a look inside Dattner’s 34th St-Hudson Yards subway station, now open to the public

(Patrick Cashin for MTA / Flickr)

(Patrick Cashin for MTA / Flickr)

On Sunday, September 13th, New York City got its first new subway station in 25 years. Located at 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue, the 34th St-Hudson Yards station extended the 7 train one and a half miles to serve Manhattan’s Far West Side.

See inside the station after the jump.

Peek inside New York City’s newest, and endlessly delayed, subway station

(Courtesy MTA)

(Courtesy MTA)

In entirely expected news, the extension of the 7 line subway to Manhattan’s Far West Side has been delayed yet again. The New York Times reported that the new 34th Street station, which was scheduled to open by the end of 2013, and then by the summer of 2014, won’t actually be ready until July.

Continue reading after the jump.

Sandhogs continue to make progress on New York City’s enormous $11 billion East Side train tunnel

(MTA Capital Construction / Rehema Trimiew)

(MTA Capital Construction / Rehema Trimiew)

New York City’s MTA has posted another collection of East Side Access construction photos to remind New Yorkers that its majorly delayed and hugely over budget project is still actually chugging along. When East Side Access is ultimately completed, at the cost of nearly $11 billion, it will connect Long Island Rail Road trains to Grand Central making life easier for about 80,000 commuters. But that’s a long ways off—last we heard, the project will not be completed until 2023.

Check out construction progress after the jump.

MTA Off Track: Record ridership just one of the problems facing New York City transit

City Terrain, East, Transportation
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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A crowded subway platform in New York City. (Ianqui Doodle / Flickr)

A crowded subway platform in New York City. (Ianqui Doodle / Flickr)

Overcrowding on New York City subway trains is becoming a major problem for commuters. According to new data from the MTA, there were 14,843 weekday delays caused by overcrowding in December alone. The New York Post found that the number is up 113 percent from the same period a year ago. Fixing the overcrowding will not be easy for the MTA as it is trying to accommodate record ridership and still dealing with damage from Superstorm Sandy.

In Construction> New York City’s East Side Access tunnel dons a yellow raincoat deep underground

(Courtesy MTA Capital Construction / Rehema Trimiew)

(Courtesy MTA Capital Construction / Rehema Trimiew)

Every so often, New York City’s MTA shares a batch of construction photos to remind New Yorkers that one of its long-delayed projects is still chugging along beneath their feet. The latest photo set takes us underneath Manhattan where the MTA is busy borrowing tunnels that will one day connect the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central. The whole project is expected to cost nearly $11 billion and won’t be wrapped up until 2023, so no need to rush through the gallery.

Check out a gallery after the jump.

Video> Installing James Carpenter’s Sky Reflector-Net at the Fulton Center

The oculus at Fulton Center. (MTA)

The oculus at Fulton Center. (MTA)

Earlier this week, AN went inside the recently completed, $1.4 billion Fulton Center in Lower Manhattan. As we mentioned, the station connects nine subway lines and is centered around a real show-stopper of an oculus. That massive skylight is wrapped in the Sky Reflector-Net, a 4,000-pound, James Carpenter–designed, structure that uses aluminum panels to disperse light throughout the station. Check out the video below to see how the MTA strung-up the high-tech net.

Watch the video after the jump.

Pictorial> The new Fulton Center opens in Lower Manhattan

Looking into the main hall. (Henry Melcher /AN)

Looking into the main hall. (Henry Melcher /AN)

When the new Fulton Center opened this weekend—after seven years of delays and cost overruns that lifted the project’s price tag from $750 million to $1.4 billion—New York City got two things: a modern upgrade to its transportation network and an iconic piece of architecture. With new well-lit concourses, pedestrian tunnels, escalators and elevators, and more intuitive transfer points between nine subway lines, Fulton Center will drastically improve the transit experience for the 300,000 people who pass through it every day. But even with these significant improvements, all anyone is talking about is the center’s eye-catching glass oculus and its hyperboloid Sky Reflector-Net installation. Step inside the station, and you’ll understand why.

Continue reading after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #26> SLO Architecture adds art to Middletown Road Station in the Bronx

Architecture, East
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
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(Julia Christie)

Archtober Building of the Day #26
Middletown Road Station
Middletown Road & Westchester Avenue, Bronx
SLO Architecture

The “steel river,” as Alexander Levi of SLO Architecture referred to the Pelham Line #6 train on last weekend’s Archtober tour, makes its way north towards Pelham Bay, crossing over four different waterways along its route. These bodies of water are cleaner now than they used to be, due in part to community-based efforts to clear unwanted debris and waste. As a result, plants and animals have returned to the area, and a feeling of pride has returned to the community. To uphold this stewardship and help maintain the waterways, Levi and Amanda Schachter of SLO designed Cross-Bronx Waterway for the Middletown Road Station, commissioned by MTA Arts & Design and chosen through a panel process.

Continue reading after the jump.

Vice President Biden and Governor Cuomo announce design competition for New York City’s airports

Completely unofficial, not-going-to-happen rendering of Laguardia. (Courtesy Neoscape & Global Gateway Alliance)

Completely unofficial, not-going-to-happen rendering of Laguardia. (Courtesy Neoscape & Global Gateway Alliance)

If you’re not a fan of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, then LaGuardia Airport really has nothing to offer you. Besides travel-friendly food options like “jalapeño and cheese pretzel dogs” the aging, dirty, sometimes-leaking airport is by all accounts a disaster. Just ask Vice President Joe Biden who once said that if he blindfolded someone and took them to LaGuardia they would think they were in “some third world country.” The Vice President adding, “I’m not joking.”

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Slideshow> The Manhattan Tunnels of East Side Access

East Side Access underneath Manhattan.  (Courtesy Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin)

East Side Access underneath Manhattan. (Courtesy Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin)

The MTA has released a new batch of images of the under-construction tunnels for its “East Side Access” project. For the uninitiated, East Side Access is the agency’s $10.8 billion plan to connect the Long Island Railroad with Grand Central Terminal. The project was initially scheduled to be completed by 2009, but, like so many large infrastructure projects, the East Side Access has been delayed. The project is now scheduled to open in 2023. All told, the project is expected to be $6.5 billion over budget.

Many more construction photos after the jump.

Anthony Foxx & Tom Prendergast Confirmed as Head of USDOT and NYC MYA

National
Thursday, June 27, 2013
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Tom Prendergast (left) and Anthony Foxx (right).

Tom Prendergast (left) and Anthony Foxx (right).

We’ve known for a while that Tom Prendergast and Anthony Foxx would be leading New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation for a while now, but now it’s official. The New York State Senate has confirmed Prendergast has been appointed as the new chairman and CEO of the MTA and Congress has okayed President Obama’s selection of Anthony Foxx as the new Secretary of Transportation.

Prendergast, who has extensive experience working in the transit system, is replacing Joe Lhota who left the position to run for New York City Mayor. With Prendergast’s new role comes the heavy responsibility of managing an annual $13 billion dollar budget and effectively serving 8.5 million commuters per weekday.

Anthony Foxx, former mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, replaces Secretary Ray LaHood, a notable enforcer of safety who initiated a strong campaign against distracted driving. Foxx says that he will follow from LaHood’s example, making safety a priority as well.

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