Penn Station’s been quiet this week, understandably so. The East End Gateway Project team is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’ve adjusted our work plans accordingly.
The East End Gateway and LIRR Concourse project will include higher ceilings, new wayfinding signage, and improved access and circulation for the hundreds of thousands of passengers who traverse the corridors of Penn Station each day. Based on pedestrian circulation studies and feedback from commuters, we’re dramatically widening the passageway so the LIRR Main Concourse will be safer and less crowded when we’re done, even when the throngs of commuters are back.
We already recently widened the passageway in the former Duane Reade space between the 34th Street entrance and the LIRR main concourse, which now provides increased pedestrian flow and track accessibility and, with the COVID-19 pandemic, provides more space for social distancing at the western entrance to the concourse.
And we’re making changes in how we manage our project too. We’re practicing social distancing in our meetings, spacing out properly during our morning Safety Briefings and following all other MTA precautions. Our goal is to keep our passengers and our employees and contractors moving, but healthy and safe, during this difficult time.
Long Island Rail Road continues to run normal weekday service in and out of Penn Station. The Railroad is not accepting cash on trains or at ticket windows, though you can still use cash at our ticket vending machines – our new temporary ticket windows are toward the middle of the LIRR corridor, with ticket vending machines closer to 7th Avenue.
We’re still making progress, most notably, on the construction of three new light-filled escalators that will afford commuters with views of the Empire State Building upon ascent from Penn Station. Yes, these times are challenging, but we’re remaining focused on the task at hand. It’s our light at the end of the tunnel.
The overall Penn Station redevelopment master plan continues to move forward and will fully transform the LIRR Concourse into a modern, world-class transportation hub. For more information and construction photos, please visit the East End Gateway and LIRR Concourse project page on AModernLI.com.