The Penn East End Gateway Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Concourse project in Manhattan was substantially completed by the Metropolitan Transit Authority Construction and Development (MTA C&D) in New York.
WSP consulted for the $700 million project, which helped improve passenger circulation and eased congestion at Penn Station.
“Penn Station was designed in the 1960s, when the total daily passenger volume was less than a third of the 600,000 daily commuters it sees today,” said Jefferson Ryscavage, project manager and WSP senior construction engineering manager. “That’s why this facility needed updates and improvements to address congestion in the station. Our team has provided valuable services, counsel and expertise since work began in 2019.”
The project was designed to provide a more comfortable station experience for commuters, which began with the conclusion of the project’s first phase in 2020, when the new and iconic East End Gateway entrance at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue opened.
“The project used an innovative developer/design-build approach that helped speed up construction. The team overcame the obstacles related to the pandemic and continued to maintain and accelerate construction activities” said Garry Nunes, WSP senior vice president and program and construction services director.
The additions of three state-of-the-art escalators and a staircase at this new entrance doubled the ingress and egress capacity between the street level and Penn Station’s LIRR Concourse and improved passenger circulation to both the LIRR and New York City Transit’s 1/2/3 and A/C/E subway lines.
The second phase widened the 33rd Street Corridor from 30 to 57 feet and raised the ceiling height to 18 feet. New mechanical systems were installed for better air circulation and a larger fresh air volume, as well as a modern luminous ceiling with programmable, color-changing LEDs that complement the natural light introduced by the East End Gateway entrance.
Four elevators were replacedand a new elevator entrance was added, along with new elevator communication systems and an intuitive wayfinding system.
The WSP team provided a complete suite of professional services to MTA C&D and the LIRR project management team, and overcame multiple challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, including safety concerns and delays in materials shipped from other countries.