The environmental review process for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) Metro-North Penn Station Access Project has been completed.
The milestone makes four new stations in the Bronx as well as direct Metro-North service to Penn Station from the Bronx, Westchester and Connecticut a step closer to reality.
"This is an important milestone for a project that will give people in several transit-deprived areas of the East Bronx with access to jobs, education, health care and everything New York and Connecticut have to offer,” said Acting MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “By making use of existing infrastructure, we are connecting people to these opportunities at a fraction of the cost it would take to build a new rail line. The next step is to award a contract to one team that will manage both the design and construction in a coordinated way to deliver the project on time and on budget.”
The project will bolster equity, regional connectivity and resiliency by delivering a new transit option for residents and workers in the East Bronx with four new fully accessible Metro-North stations at Co-Op City, Parkchester, Morris Park and Hunts Point. The advent of train service to these stations will support the local economy and attract regional talent by increasing accessibility to underserved neighborhoods, cutting commutes and introducing reverse commuting opportunities.
“This project will be game-changing for Metro-North,” said Catherine Rinaldi, president, Metro-North Railroad. “In essentially one bold stroke it will allow the railroad to dramatically reduce travel times for a transit desert with a vast population of hundreds of thousands of people, and it will allow our busiest line to have a second destination in midtown Manhattan. We are already looking forward to opening day."
The project will use Amtrak’s existing Hell Gate Line to access Penn Station, maximizing the potential of existing infrastructure, while minimizing impacts on the surrounding community. It will bring the Hell Gate Line into a state of good repair and improve resiliency and on-time performance for Amtrak passengers. The project also calls for the construction of new electrical substations, additional tracks within the existing line, work to renew bridges and upgrades to Metro-North’s New Rochelle Yard.
The Environmental Assessment and Section 4(f) Evaluation were released May 18, 2021 for public and agency comment. On Sept. 24, 2021, the Federal Transit Administration issued a formal Finding of No Significant Impact in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, marking the conclusion of the environmental review. The MTA has published a summary of comments and responses received during the public comment period.
Procurement is underway to award a design-build contract to construct this transformative project which will dramatically reduce travel times for people traveling to or from the East Bronx.