Valley Stream Latest Happenings

Here's what you need to know about the renovations underway at the Valley Stream Long Island Rail Road station

From columns to canopy roofs, see what the MTA is revamping at the Valley Stream main station.


On a sun-drenched morning last Friday at the Valley Stream elevated platform station, commuters calmly waited for their train to arrive tuning out the dull mechanic roar beneath their feet.

On the ground floor, construction workers gathered near an industrial sandblaster removing away paint from the columns holding up the main station. Cars maneuvered past parts of the ground floor parking lot now surrounded by barricades and warning signs. At the sight of workers holding signs, drivers looked for open parking spots away from the work zone.

“A state of good repair work,” funded by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is fully underway at the Valley Stream main station. Six rows of columns, railings, and multiple overpass bridges are expected to be repainted. Any columns supporting the length of the village’s elevated railway tracks from Hicks Street to Satterie Avenue will also be “taken care of as needed” MTA officials noted.

While renovations are in process or in queue to begin, others have been checked off the to-do list.


Completed and forthcoming renovations

The roofing shingles at the platform waiting rooms have been replaced as scheduled, meaning the waiting areas, closed to the public for months amid construction, are now open.

The next imminent renovation will be the station’s elevators and escalators, whose work is expected to begin by the end of June.

“The LIRR is investing $32 million in capital funds for state-of-good repair work that is already underway at the station,” noted Long Island Rail Road President Robert Free in a statement. “When finished, these improvements will improve our customers’ experience and make for a more pleasurable commute.”


Commuters praise benefits but bristle at inconveniences 

The reconstruction is an overall positive, noted commuter Damien Cotto, even though inconvenience and disruption are a pesky side effect.

“Anytime you fix the infrastructure of anything like train stations or bridges, that’s good,” he said. “But people are inconvenienced because of parking.”

Cotto, a longtime resident of Valley Stream, argues the MTA did not provide commuters ample warning about the construction and its impediments to parking.

“I didn’t really see any great information that they provided to people who are commuters,” he said. “I soon realized that when they were setting up the construction, they would be taking all the parking away from people on that side.”

The construction has not been too bothersome for rider Becky Lodewyck.

“The waiting platforms look nice,” Lodewyck said. “The station has been very easy to navigate, and I haven’t had any problems with safety.”

However, Lodewyck noted that she avoids the parking headache entirely by not parking at the station.

Valley Stream resident Wendy Prudencio, who works in Queens, is not a regular commuter opting to drive to work to avoid dealing with the “packed crowds” she experienced during past commutes. She has, however, seen the station go through various phases of change and is glad to see renovations made to the station’s “old and outdated” infrastructure.

“People who park down below the station can see that the columns do look old and rusty,” she said. “Aesthetically, it’s not an appealing station, but I’m glad they’re making improvements.”

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