This fall commuters at the Cortlandt Metropolitan Transportation Authority Hudson line train station will no longer be competing for parking spots, missing out on their morning cup of coffee, or waiting in the cold.
The MTA’s $34 million expansion project at the station will bring more than 700 new parking spots and other much-needed improvements. The additional parking makes up $20 million of the cost, with the other $14 million to be used for additional structural improvements.
Construction began in 2009 to help alleviate the crowded parking issues that have been plaguing the station and to update the rundown station. The eastern lot, though expanded twice already, has reached its 885-car capacity.
The new parking will be placed on land the MTA acquired from Local 14 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, who had used the land previously to train heavy equipment workers.
When completed later this year an additional 720 parking spots for cars and 10 spots for motorcycles will make up a new western parking lot, adding to the station’s existing spaces. Other improvements to the station include a heated waiting area at the northern end of the platform, new elevator and enclosed staircase. The MTA will also be improving the waiting space and concession area.
Lynn Keeler, a student who commutes to the city three times a week from Cortlandt, was rubbing her hands together to keep warm while standing on the platform awaiting her train last week.
"It probably took me about ten minutes to get from my car to the platform today." Keeler said as she pointed to her car at the far end of the parking lot. "It seems like it takes even longer when it's so cold out."
Commuters will benefit from other pedestrian improvements too. The existing overpass that connects the eastern parking lot to the platform will be extended to reach the new western lot, and lighted sidewalks will be installed.
The MTA is also adding a canopy covering over the newly constructed drop-off plaza and walkways, as well as a new parking pay station, the Authority said in a press release. These features will be accompanied by new lighting, signage, bike racks, security call boxes and an environmentally friendly “green” restroom facility installed.
Keeler said she is looking forward to the extra parking and a heated waiting area.
The improvement will also include the addition of a service road to be located directly across from the VA Hospital entrance, which will connect via a new 9A intersection.
Ed Vergano, the Director of Technical Services for the Town of Cortlandt, who describes the current offset intersection as “tricky,” said that the construction improvements and new access road will turn the present intersection into a “true four-way intersection.”
“It’ll be a nice new wide road. It will be a lot less confusing, and a lot safer,” said Vergano.
Ray Healey, a veteran who uses the Cortlandt station to commute back and forth from Yonkers, is excited about the upcoming changes.
“A lot of people use this station. It’s good that they’re working on improving it.”