"We've got the money, now let's get to work," said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has been the chief backer of the project in Washington since Moynihan left office in 2000. "Moynihan Station is the poster child for the best way to use federal funding -- it creates jobs, upgrades aging transportation infrastructure and leaves behind an economic engine for the entire region."
Construction will begin
later this year and is expected to be completed by 2015. The project will
create about 400 construction jobs annually.
As many as 13 new stairways and escalators and six new elevators will help speed passengers to and from trains both in the western end of Penn Station and to new platforms under the post-office building.
Two new entrances at the corners of the post office, at 31st and 33rd streets on the west side of Eighth Avenue, will be the first direct link to the new Moynihan Station, which will primarily serve Amtrak, but will also provide access to the Long Island Rail Road and NJ Transit.
A second, larger project that will create an enormous train hall inside the post-office building -- complete with retail shops, restaurants and, possibly, a hotel -- will come later.
A date hasn't been set for the second phase, but it is expected to cost $1.5 billion to $2 billion.