NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled the next phase of the much-anticipated Moynihan Station.
The station, named after the late New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, will be at the landmark Farley Post Office Building and will accommodate both Long Island Rail Road and Amtrak passengers.
Officials broke ground Wednesday, after a 20-year delay.
“I’m in a state of shock, because on my father’s death bed in 2003 I vowed to him I would try to get the station built,” Moynihan’s daughter, Maura, said.
The governor explained the new train hall will be everything Penn Station is not.
“The Penn experience is so horrible — the density, the darkness. This is the exact opposite. It’s spacious, it’s light, it reduces stress, it reduces anxiety, and it’s one of these grand spaces that says New York — it has a style to it,” Cuomo told CBS2’s Marcia Kramer, who got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the progress of the station ahead of Thursday morning’s groundbreaking ceremony.
“It will stand the test of time, it will handle the volume, it will handle the increased volume, but it will also say, Marcia, ‘Welcome to New York,” he added.
It will include a mezzanine with cafes and shops and an elaborate, light-filled train hall that celebrates the 1912 building.
“Picture that with shops and cafes ringing this area, with people being able to look over the balcony down to the train floor,” Cuomo told Kramer.
Once the Moynihan Train Hall is finished, Cuomo said it will be larger than the Great Hall at Grand Central.
“Yes, we dream big. But we also get it done,” Cuomo said. “That’s what New York is all about.”
Project Manager John Sullivan said the centerpiece is a skylight that includes an acre of glass that is “going to allow all the natural light to come into the train hall and it will also filter down through the escalator ways right down into the train shed.”
“Governor Cuomo will forever be praised by the nearly one million commuters who have to suffer the indignity of the pit for releasing them from purgatory,” Maura said.
Train information will also be high-tech to the max, Kramer reported.
“Major LED screens, which will display the train information in ways that will be easily readable, with very attractive video displays,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said.
“Eleven escalators take you right down to the platform,” Cuomo added. “This is going to be a destination I believe in and of itself.”
The $1.6 billion project is expected to be completed in 2020.
It’s worth noting the Moynihan Station is slated to open in the same year as the next presidential election, when a certain New York governor might be a candidate, Kramer reported.