Home LIRR Atlantic Terminal LIRR project due for fall completion

Atlantic Terminal LIRR project due for fall completion

by Benjamin Kabak


A rendering of the soon-to-be completed Atlantic Terminal LIRR entrance.

For years, the LIRR entrance at the Atlantic Terminal has been shrouded in construction. While the Atlantic Terminal mall opened in 2004 with promises of a rebuilt LIRR entrance to follow, the project has been encumbered by seemingly never-ending delays. Shocking, I know.

While I was away on vacation, The Local, The Times’ Fort Greene and Clinton Hill blog, dug into the causes behind the delay. In response to a reader query into the state of the delays, Michael Szeto uncovered an answer — and a revised timeline — for the project:

According to a spokesman for the Long Island Railroad, the project at Atlantic Terminal will be completed this fall. There are two phases of construction and the final phase is being completed now.

The first phase of the project involved Flatbush Station improvements. It was completed on time in 2005. The last phase centers on the new entrance pavilion that was scheduled for completion in 2007 but “unforeseen site conditions,” according to a spokeswoman for the LIRR, extended the project for two more years. There was a need for additional steel and building materials and the work areas were smaller than expected, which slowed the pace of construction, the spokeswoman said.

It is of course both surprising and not to hear about the reasons for the delay. The project needed more materials and the work space, hardly a secret when the MTA fielded bids on the entrance, ended up being “smaller than expected.” No wonder Mayor Bloomberg wants to trim some of the bureaucratic mess from the MTA and streamline internal operations.

We never hear about the penalties built into the contracts the MTA awards to contractors who can’t finish projects on time or near budget. I have to hope, however, that the authority is not on the hook for what seems to be, over and over again, a faulty bidding system. Getting the lowest bid would seemingly save the authority money, but then again, they get what they pay for.

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Alon Levy August 10, 2009 - 12:49 pm

Is the project going to improve transit mobility, or is it just another station beautification?

And the greatest problem with taking the lowest bid is Atlantic Yards. 😉

Benjamin Kabak August 10, 2009 - 12:50 pm

Ideally, it will improve passenger flow into and out of both the subway and LIRR stations at Atlantic/Pacific/Flatbush. It’s replacing an old terminal that was knocked down to build FCR’s ugly Atlantic Terminal mall.

Alon Levy August 10, 2009 - 12:54 pm

How much did this passenger flow improvement cost?

Scott E August 10, 2009 - 2:22 pm

“The first phase of the project involved Flatbush Station improvements. It was completed on time in 2005.” What is this referring to? The subway part seems renovated, and the LIRR platforms themselves seem nearly complete, but the area to the west of the platform (not the entrance pavilion) behind the bumper-blocks is a narrow maze through construction-related barriers. It also seems like permanent doorways are being installed to the platforms, making the walkway narrower! (it’s already caused a bottleneck).

Meanwhile, the east-ends of the platforms are riddled with dripping water near the new, but now rusty “emergency exit” staircases, and the gap between the curved platform and the train is well in excess of a foot.
To say it is “substantially done” is debatable. To say it was “completed” is deceptive.

kvnbklyn August 10, 2009 - 11:27 pm

I believe what they’re talking about is the LIRR platform renovations. They’re being a bit disingenuous since the platform renovations weren’t even a part of the original project and were only done when they realized that the new station entrance building was so incredibly delayed that they needed to do something to show some progress.

Of course, considering this station has been a disaster since they demolished the original entrance building in the 1980s (and possibly before – that’s way before my time), it’s incredible (yet par for the course for the MTA) that it’s now 2009 and the project is only now coming to an end.

Mike August 10, 2009 - 5:06 pm

I hope this construction was paid for by Forest City Ratner as part of the deal that got them the incredibly valuable land to build their mall on. But I’m not sure.

bob smalls December 16, 2009 - 5:59 pm

I believe that the entrance is separate from the Ratner development and falls under the authority of the MTA, thus the 4 year lifespan. If this is actually done tomorrow I will flip.

Benjamin Kabak December 16, 2009 - 6:04 pm

Based upon reports on The Local and Brownstoner, it’s nearly ready to open. The plywood is coming down, and the doors should open any day now.

How to Make Us Care About the LIRR: With This Thing! | One Better One September 11, 2009 - 1:06 pm

[…] a rendering of the outside of the Atlantic Terminal entrance, via Second Avenue Sagas. At least Long Islanders will be able to ride to Nets games in style, if that whole thing across […]


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