Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday broke ground on a project adding a new track to the Long Island Rail Road. Thursday, the focus was on the new Moynihan Station, and a plan to remake parts of Penn Station.
Cuomo wants to tell people that he's getting things done. He also happens to be seeking reelection.
"This state is doing the most aggressive building program in the United States of America," the governor said.
Cuomo's new vision for Penn Station would make permanent a pedestrian plaza on 33rd St. A new entrance would be built there, with Cuomo presenting possible designs Thursday. At the same time, a corridor would be made twice as wide, with dramatically higher ceilings.
But plans are preliminary. There's no estimated price tag yet — Cuomo said that will come in January. No funding is earmarked, either. The governor claimed financing will come out of the 2019 budget, arguing the project is critical to address overcrowding and security.
"It would allow thousands of people easy access," Cuomo said. "You don't have to go through 2 Penn, you don't have to go through Madison Square Garden, you don't have to run any gauntlet. It's right on the street, you can walk right in."
Meanwhile, work continues on the Moynihan Transit Hall inside the old Farley Post Office Building. It'll provide new access to the platforms below Penn Station, along with new retail and office space. Thursday, workers installed the first glass panel in what will be a series of dramatic skylights.
The infrastructure push comes with next week's primary looming, and Cuomo under attack for his record on the MTA. His focus on transportation is slated to continue Friday, when he'll open the final span of the new Mario Cuomo Bridge, which replaces the old Tappan Zee Bridge. Hillary Clinton is slated to join him at the event.
The Moynihan Station project is supposed to be complete by the end of 2020. It will eventually serve an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 passengers, which should go a long way toward alleviating the crush of commuters at Penn Station.