The parking problems plaguing LIRR commuters at the Huntington and Cold Spring Harbor stations will be no more by the end of 2019, state officials said Friday at a news conference.
A parking garage will be completed within 10 months at the Cold Spring Harbor station, and the Long Island Rail Road station in Huntington will see parking improvements that include renovations to the north and south parking lots, replacing the elevator at the north parking garage and making structural repairs to the east footbridge, said Town of Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci.
The projects will be funded with $11.48 million in state grants. Just over $7 million will go toward the garage in Cold Spring Harbor, where commuters will have access to 150 parking spots. Officials said that there is no start date for construction and added that engineers are still determining where the garage will be built. Lupinacci said commuters will be accommodated with extra spots but couldn't say where they will be.
Commuters have complained for years about insufficient parking at the station. In recent years, they have said the lack of parking leaves them no option other than illegally parking when the lot is full, especially during the morning commute. People have parked their vehicles on the grass, beyond designated lane markings and in front of “no parking” signs.
"The parking garage will be an added element to make sure parking is convenient and people can get to work on time, which is important for them and their families," said State Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset), who secured the funding for the project.
He also noted the garage will alleviate issues associated with winter parking, such as commuters having to shovel out their vehicles after snowstorms and having fewer spots to park when crews use some spaces to clear away the snow they have plowed.
State Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport), who secured $4 million for the renovations at the LIRR station in Huntington, noted the importance of the improvements while recalling his days circling the lot looking for a space after graduating college 30 years ago.
“These are two really important projects," Flanagan said. "They’re not the most scintillating things in the world. It’s not like we’re showing this gorgeous building, but it’s compelling, it’s necessary and it’s very helpful.”