The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is building three new elevators and a sound-retaining wall at the Floral Park Long Island Rail Road station, and village residents got a sneak peek of the plans.
During a special meeting last Wednesday, officials with the construction company that is building the third track shared renderings of the elevators and wall with about 60 residents and village trustees. The audience and members of Floral Park’s architectural review board spent an hour asking questions and providing feedback.
“In general I think it’s a very good addition to the Floral Park station,” the architectural review board’s chairman, Frank Gunther, said about the elevator design. “It’s sound and pragmatic to me and it’s done in an aesthetically pleasing way.”
The MTA is building a 9.8-mile track on the LIRR Main Line from Floral Park to Hicksville. In December, the MTA hired 3rd Track Constructors, or 3TC, to build the track.
Michael Guter, a design coordinator with 3TC, told residents that the escalators currently at the station will remain and that there will be an elevator at the center of the station platform and one each at the north and south ends of the station. The elevators’ exterior will be made of glass, Guter added.
“The see-through glass is mostly a safety measure so that nobody is in the elevator and subject to being accosted,” he said.
Most in the crowd did not comment directly about how the elevator looked, but two residents said they thought the design was unattractive.
“I’m just gonna flat out say it, I think this is very utilitarian-looking, not aesthetically pleasing; sorry,” said resident Nadia Holubnyczyj-Ortiz. “It looks like a generic lift, not even an elevator.”
Gunther said review board members like the glass elevator design, but noted that it still allows people to see debris that gathers over time on the elevator floor. Gunther suggested converting the bottom part of the exterior walls into brick.
“If we stop the glass maybe 30 inches before the sidewalk, it has less visibility to the dirt that will inevitably collect in the elevator pit,” he said.
Another resident, Darlene Lanza, asked Guter where the elevator operation room would be housed. Guter said the room will be in a different part of the station.
He and other 3TC officials told residents that the wall and elevator designs are about 60 percent complete. Most of the specifics for the sound wall aren’t done, they said.
Guter said the wall will be 4 feet higher than current track height, but Gunther added that Floral Park officials have not yet discussed the color or texture of the wall with 3TC.
A crowd of about 60 residents, including village trustees, had other questions that 3TC officials couldn’t answer Wednesday night, including how the sound wall would affect the waterslide at the village pool and which trees might be removed to build the wall.
Mayor Dominick Longobardi told residents to hold their questions for later because Wednesday was the first of many interactions the public will have with Third Track contractors.
Progress and price
A look at the MTA LIRR third-track project by the numbers:
$1.9 billion | Cost of construction
140,000 | Number of riders expected to use the third track
9.8 | Number of miles the third track will stretch
4 | Number of companies coming together to build and design the track