MTA Long Island Rail Road President Phil Eng and MTA Construction & Development President Janno Lieber today announced that the MTA has completed its upgrade and renewal of the Murray Hill LIRR station, bringing a major accessibility improvement. The station now has two elevators, one each for the eastbound and westbound platforms, making the station accessible to all customers for the first time. Crews also installed renewed retaining walls, new lighting, security cameras, signage and pigeon abatement measures.
“Our goal at the LIRR is to make sure every last station that needs to be upgraded to allow for full ADA-compliant accessibility happens as quickly as possible. The opening of the elevators at Murray Hill Station marks the 107th accessible station, out of 124, for our customers,” Eng said. “I am proud of the workforce that managed to get this important project past the finish line despite the ongoing pandemic as we run Essential Service for frontline workers. We look forward to the day we welcome all our customers back, and to the day we can say the LIRR is truly accessible for all who wish to use it.”
“During the COVID-19 crisis we have put in place strong safety guidelines so that projects like this — and the hundreds of other MTA projects under construction — can move forward safely and on schedule,” Lieber said. “Among other things, these guidelines require maximum social distancing, keeping crews separate, disinfection of tools, and controlling access to confined areas like pump rooms and communications rooms. Thanks to our employees, contractors and organized labor, we are maintaining safety and continuing upgrades to be ready when our customers return.”
Each elevator has a 3,500-lbs capacity and is large enough to accommodate a stretcher, should any passenger require EMT assistance on either platform. Low E glass has been installed on both elevators – the glass reduces the accumulation of heat inside the elevator to improve passenger comfort. Conduits, wires, fire alarms, elevator components and safety equipment, storefront windows and control panels for passenger use are all fully installed and operational.
The plaza areas at the Murray Hill Station were also restored with new brick pavers and concrete walkways. In addition, plaza benches, tables, seats and lampposts were re-installed and new trees planted.
Construction of the enhanced Murray Hill Station began in December 2017 and is part of the broader LIRR Modernization Program to support enhanced stations. The project was managed by MTA Construction & Development on behalf of the LIRR. More details of the project and 100 other projects being conducted systemwide to modernize the LIRR, can be found at aModernLI.com. The renewal was performed on budget for $8.6 million.
The station first opened in April 1889, at street level. This section of the Port Washington Branch was depressed below street level in 1912. LIRR station improvements, including demolition and replacement of the pedestrian overpass, new staircases, and other station amenities were completed in November 2005.
Average daily ridership was recently more than 1,200, making it the 69th busiest of the LIRR’s 124 stations.
S. Representative Grace Meng said: “I have long advocated for these elevators at the Murray Hill station and I’m pleased to have worked with the LIRR in making the completion of this project a reality. The elevators will be a great benefit to those who use this station. They will make the station compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and provide improved access to and from the platforms. I also commend the other enhancements included in this project such as security cameras and new lighting near the elevators. I thank the LIRR for making this critical investment in the Murray Hill station, and look forward to these elevators serving riders for many years to come.”
Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said: “The Main Street Flushing LIRR station took fifteen years for the modernization to be completed. In contrast, two years ago the LIRR began renovations at the Murray Hill station, providing added accessibility and most importantly finished installing elevators. I am delighted to see that Long Island Rail Road has continued making proactive improvements to its station infrastructure, making sure all city residents have the ability to take advantage of their much-needed transportation options. These improvements are especially significant to the disabled community and will improve ADA accessibility.”
Assemblymember Ron Kim said: “We are thankful to the LIRR for its commitment to completing the construction and installation of two new elevators at the Murray Hill LIRR station, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. This will greatly improve the daily commute and quality of life for many residents in our community, and in spite of any setbacks or delays I am grateful that they were able to see this project through. This infrastructure upgrade, combined with the improved security measures, should ensure a more positive commuting experience for all of us.”
Council Member Peter Koo said: “These long-awaited elevators will go far to ensure everyone in the Murray Hill community has access to their backyard station. Importantly, this renovation will also feature security upgrades like LED lighting and security cameras that will help improve safety in the area. This is the second LIRR station upgrade we’ve had in Flushing in the last two years, and I’m grateful the MTA has worked with our community to address these outstanding accessibility and safety concerns.”