The Long Island Rail Road has begun construction on a major renovation of its Merillon Avenue station in Garden City, officials said Tuesday.
The upgrades include extending the station platforms to accommodate 12-car trains — two more than they can now — and adding two elevators, stairs, railings and canopies, digital displays, improved lighting, platform benches, shelters, signage, security cameras and free Wi-Fi and USB charging stations.
Because the project necessitates closing the western half of the track platforms, those getting off at the station must use the first six cars of a train. The railroad expects to reopen the station fully by late spring 2020.
Improvements surrounding the station, which was built in 1912, will include repaving the north parking lot, new trees and landscaping, bicycle racks and art installations.
The work is part of the $2.6 billion LIRR Expansion Project, which includes the construction of a 9.8-mile third track along the Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville.
“This is just one element of the LIRR Expansion Project that will make the railroad more convenient, reliable and safer for our customers,” LIRR president Phillip Eng said. “It is one project of nearly 100 that will modernize the LIRR and create a true 21st century commuter experience that LIRR customers want and deserve.”
The Merillon Avenue station is used by about 2,000 LIRR riders each day. It was the site of one of the railroad’s darkest days, when Colin Ferguson, a passenger, pulled out a pistol and opened fire inside a train car as it pulled into the station on Dec. 7, 1993, killing six people and injuring another 19.