The Long Island Rail Road plans a $5 million overhaul of three rundown stations in southeast Queens, LIRR Acting President Kenneth Bauer said in a letter to a state senator representing the area.
Commuters have long complained of unsafe conditions at the St. Albans, Hollis, and Rosedale stations, and many have opted to take commuter vans and buses instead of waiting in the stations, which have fallen into disrepair.
But state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans), who led LIRR officials on a tour of the stations two months ago, said the repairs will provide a boost to public safety and commuter convenience.
"These repairs and improvements will make all the difference in the world for commuters who have avoided using these ramshackle stations and have instead been taking buses that still drop them off far from subway stations," said Smith.
Work on the St. Albans station at 180th Street and Linden Boulevard will begin in October 2001, said Bauer. The mural below the platform, which depicts neighborhood landmarks such as the St. Albans Presbyterian Church, is peeled and faded, foreshadowing for the commuter the weathered state of the waiting area.
"As it stands now, this platform is nothing less than a tragic accident waiting to happen," said Smith." It has gaping holes that a child or an adult could easily fall through."
The area of the platform which is crumbling is surrounded by a three-foot-high fence, and the area where commuters can step on the train appears stable.
The eastbound side of the platform will be completely demolished and reconstructed during the first phase of the project at the St. Albans station, according to a letter Bauer sent to Smith. When the eastbound station reopens, a minimum of four cars will be able to drop off and pick up passengers at the station.
Landscape and drainage work will also be done as well as a complete demolition and reconstruction of the westbound platform, said Bauer in the letter. Work on the St. Albans station should take approximately one year
Work on the Rosedale station will begin in July 2001 and is expected to take two years. The westbound platform will be rebuilt with a new canopy and the eastbound platform, waiting room and ticket office will also be demolished and replaced.
Relatively minor repairs to the Hollis station will be made later this year and is being classified by the LIRR as routine maintenance, according to Bauer.
©2000 Community News Group
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