"Station parking is critical if we hope to get people off the roads and on to the railroad," Permut said. "Now that we have completed the environmental review process, property acquisition and full design, it gives me great pleasure to see construction begin at Cortlandt. This project will address current and future needs of the railroad and the community it serves."
Cortlandt is the only station in this area of the Hudson Line that had land available for expansion. Parking lots at Croton-Harmon to the south and Peekskill to the north are locally owned and operated and at capacity.
To build the improvements at Cortlandt, several land transfers and purchases had to be accomplished and an easement had to be obtained. Metro-North acquired industrial land on the west side of the tracks as well as 2.1 acres from the Town to put together this 9.5-acre site.
The majority of the land came from Local 14 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, which had used the property as a training facility for operators of heavy equipment. The union relocated to property previously owned by the Keon Center Inc. Keon also relocated to a new facility. Metro-North also obtained a permanent easement from Peckham Industries to allow construction of the overpass extension and to insure access along the railroad right of way.
New parking spaces for 720 cars and 10 motorcycles will be built along with a landscaped, canopy-covered, intermodal drop-off plaza.
In conjunction with New York State Department of Transportation, the project will create an improved, four-way intersection including turning lanes and a traffic signal at the intersection of Route 9A, the new station road and the Veteran's Administration Hospital entrance drive, complete with new lighted sidewalks.
The pedestrian overpass, which currently connects the existing east parking lot to an island platform, will be extended to the west side of the tracks and will include a new elevator, enclosed staircase, a 220-square-foot waiting area and a 240-square-foot concession and ground level vending area.
On the plaza level, there will be canopy-covered walkways, a "green" rest room (composting facility) and a new parking pay station location. An additional heated shelter will be constructed on the north end of the platform and the facilities will have new lighting, signage, security call boxes, bicycle racks. Landscaping will complete the improvements. Work is scheduled for completion in November 2011.
Although parking at Cortlandt has been expanded twice, the lot is rapidly reaching its 885-car capacity. Currently the only access is on the east side of the tracks.
The project will cost $34.7 million. The Federal Highway Administration's Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ) program, in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration, is contributing $21.2 million. This includes a CMAQ grant to NYSDOT of $5.2 million for the intersection improvements. Metro-North's capital program is funding $13.5 million of the project.
Design of the new facility was by Jacobs Engineers. Design of the Route 9A intersection improvements was by AECOM. Construction is by ECCO III Enterprises and construction management will be handled by STV Inc.