If you are frustrated by the crowded hellscape that is Penn Station, you’re not alone. And alas, one of the first pieces of a revamped rail complex—the West End Concourse, which connects the existing station to the James A. Farley Post Office—is still lagging behind. According to Crain’s, work was due to wrap up last fall, but it’s been delayed because of tech-focused upgrades.
The expanded concourse is designed to ease commuter congestion, and it was on the verge of completion when, Crain’s explains, the state decided to put that project on hold and instead focus on adding digital information screens and a new ceiling-mounted LED display. On the bright side, more legible information. On the downside, the new and improved corridor is now delayed by approximately six months.
Back in August, the project was chugging along as planned—a spokesman for the Empire State Development Corporation went so far as to call it “on-time and on-budget”—but then … nothing happened. The scheduled September opening came and went, and the concourse stayed closed, even though, as Crain’s notes, it at least looks to be “substantially complete.”
But looks can be deceiving. The state development agency explained that standards have changed since the project was designed six years ago, and the passage now needs to be “updated with the same types of technological advances that are being incorporated into other transit improvements recently announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, including upgrades to other sections of Penn Station.”
And according to the agency, it will be both cheaper and faster to make those additions before the concourse opens—thus the delay. The new West End Concourse is now scheduled to open in Spring 2017.