For the first time in about 30 years, upgrades will begin on Lynbrook’s Long Island Rail Road station at the end of June.
During Monday’s village board meeting, Deputy Mayor Michael Hawxhurst said that he and Mayor Alan Beach met with LIRR President Phillip Eng and engineers last month to discuss the next steps in a $17.9 million plan to overhaul the 80 year old station. Assemblywoman Judy Griffin and State Sen. Todd Kaminsky also attended the meeting.
Hawxhurst said the project would be done in two phases, the first of which will focus on replacing 39 stanchions at the station. He noted that a contract was awarded to a Lynbrook company, which will begin the work at the end of the month. Hawxhurst did not specify which company before the Herald went to press.
“You should start seeing work done on the railroad station coming this month,” Hawxhurst said. “So that’s something exciting to look forward to and it’ll take approximately a year for all the work to be completed.”
The project should be finished by the end of 2020, with $10 million going toward platform-level upgrades, including the renovation of both platforms, the construction of two new canopies and two new glass waiting rooms, and the installation of security cameras, LED lighting and free Wi-Fi at the station. An additional $6 million will fund concrete viaduct repairs, while $1.5 million will be allocated for structural support work. The major projects will happen in phase two, which Hawxhurst said is expected to begin in September.
The upgrades will be funded under the LIRR’s Capital Program, which is upgrading several stations. The effort began in 2015 and will wind down later this year. Additional funding for the Lynbrook station will be sought as part of the next Capital Program, beginning in 2020, for a proposed second round of improvements, which will include sidewalk repairs, renovations of the station’s depot, the installation of bike racks and an information center, the replacement of benches and exterior columns, repair of asphalt and concrete curbs, and the replacement of bird-deterrent netting. These will fall under phase three of the project.
Commuters and elected officials have long fought for funding to improve the station’s many deficiencies, which include small craters in the platform floors, a dilapidated waiting room, dingy wooden boards that support concrete overhangs above escalators and staircases, and chipped paint on walls. Additionally, rain often pours through the light fixtures in the platform overhangs.
The LIRR announced a planned $10 million overhaul of the station back in April 2016, but after Eng took over as president of the LIRR in April 2018, he paused all planned projects in order to give them a thorough review. After several meetings with Beach, Kaminsky and other elected officials, he announced a $17.9 million upgrade last September.
“Since joining the LIRR in April, I’ve taken a hard look at our system, operations and capital projects with a focus on making decisions to prioritize necessary initiatives and get them finished sooner rather than later,” Eng said at the time. “Lynbrook station is in need of these repairs, and I look forward to giving customers who use this location an upgraded station that they deserve while hardening our infrastructure for decades to come.”
Around that time, Beach said he was pleased to see the station get revamped. “We in the Village of Lynbrook are all very excited to finally be getting upgrades to our train station,” he said in September. “We would like to thank all those whose hard work and dedication helped to make this happen for the village.”