Skanska Gets $148M Slice of Moynihan Station’s First Phase

Skanska has signed a $148 million contract with the Moynihan Station Development Corp. for work on phase one of the expansion of New York City's Pennsylvania Station.

Skanska has signed a $148 million contract with the Moynihan Station Development Corp. for work on phase one of the expansion of New York City’s Pennsylvania Station, the company announced late last week.

The expansion will create the new Moynihan Station, built beneath the James Farley Post Office Building but connected to Penn Station. With more than 550,000 daily passengers, Penn Station is the nation’s busiest train station. (The new station is named after U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 1927–2003, who represented New York for four consecutive terms, from 1976 to 2000. He was a promoter of the Penn Station expansion in the 1990s.)

The first phase, whose total cost will be $270 million, will include:

*  The expansion and enhancement of the 33rd Street Connector between Penn Station and the West End Concourse, which lies under the Farley Building’s grand staircase;

*  The extension and widening of the West End Concourse to serve nine of Penn Station’s 11 platforms;

*  13 new vertical access points (escalators, elevators and stairs); and

*  Entrances into the West End Concourse through the 31st and 33rd Street corners of the Farley Building.

Funding is coming primarily from federal transportation and stimulus sources, as well as from the state of New York. Phase one is scheduled for completion in July 2016.

Skanska will expand the length and width of the West End Concourse, which now serves as a secondary access point to train platforms for commuters and other passengers using the Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit and Amtrak. The company will also build two new entrances into Moynihan Station, giving passengers direct access from Eighth Avenue to the West End Concourse.

Phase two, still under development, will convert the basement of the post office building into Amtrak’s new terminal, at a cost of about $500 million, not including $200 million for the property. The post office will retain customer windows in its main lobby, but most of the rest of the building will be turned into a concourse with a six-story atrium.

The Penn Station expansion has a long history, beset with political wrangles, changes of direction and multiple designs. Plans were initially announced in 1999, with a design proposal from Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. A new, more modest plan was issued by Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum and James Carpenter in 2005, but SOM reacquired the project later that year.

A controversial 2007 proposal to add about 1 million square feet of retail was later dropped. Yet another proposal would have included the relocation of Madison Square Garden and the building of an office complex on the current Garden site.

Through all this, Skanska has been heavily involved in transportation projects in New York City.

*  In 2002, Skanska rebuilt the city’s largest and busiest subway stop, at Times Square, which serves as a hub for four subway lines carrying more than 500,000 passengers daily.

*  Currently, the company is building the Second Avenue Subway line on the Upper East Side, the NJ PATH Station at the World Trade Center’s Transportation Hub and the Fulton Street Transit Center, which will create a hub connecting five subway stations and 10 subway lines in Lower Manhattan.

* Skanska is also part of the joint venture that built the tunnel for the No. 7 Line Extension that will link Times Square to Manhattan’s West Side and received the contract for installing finishes and systems at the extension at West 26th and 11th Avenue.