Long awaited and highly anticipated renovations to the Lynbrook Long Island Rail Road station began on Sept. 10, months after the LIRR announced a $17.9 million upgrade to the facility.
“We in the Village of Lynbrook are all very excited to finally be getting upgrades to our train station,” Mayor Alan Beach told the Herald after the funding was announced last year. “We would like to thank all those whose hard work and dedication helped to make this happen for the village.”
The renovations mark the first major upgrade to the 80-year-old station in about three decades, and will address many of its issues. The problems 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 Phillip 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, State Sen. Todd Kaminsky and other elected officials, he announced a $17.9 million upgrade in September 2018.
“A clean, safe, efficient and modern train station is vital for hardworking Lynbrook commuters,” Kaminsky said in a statement. “I am pleased that this upgrade I helped secure is now beginning, which will go a long way in improving the quality of commutes for village residents.”
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 upgrades will be funded under the LIRR’s Capital Program, which is modernizing 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.
“As we work to modernize and renew the LIRR system, our focus remains on improving the customer experience through capital projects designed to deliver the necessary upgrades our customers expect and deserve,” Eng said in a statement. “Our frequent meetings with Sen. Kaminsky, Assemblywoman Griffin, stakeholders and customers since I joined the railroad last April have been productive, and I'm pleased we've worked together to find a solution to upgrade Lynbrook station. Our team is hard at work making sure this project is completed so Lynbrook customers, both current and future generations, have a station they are proud of.”
Elected officials and residents have pushed for an upgrade to the station for several years. Assemblywoman Judy Griffin said commuters deserved an updated train station to accommodate them. “I will continue working diligently to ensure that commuters experience a reliable, safe, and comfortable commute,” she said in a statement.