After nearly 2.5 years and $8.6 million, the Murray Hill Long Island Rail Road station is now handicapped accessible.
“Our goal at the LIRR is to make sure every last station that needs to be upgraded to allow for full [Americans with Disabilities Act]-compliant accessibility happens as quickly as possible,” said MTA LIRR President Phil Eng in a May 4 statement.
The renovation began in December 2017 and includes two elevators, one each for the eastbound and westbound platforms, both of which have a 3,500-pound capacity and are large enough to fit a stretcher in the case of an EMT-related medical emergency. Renewed retaining walls, new lighting, security cameras, signage and pigeon abatement measures were installed at the 41st Avenue and 149th Place station, as well as restored brick pavers and concrete walkways, new benches, tables, seats and lampposts. New trees were also planted.
The station’s previous improvements, including a replaced pedestrian overpass, new staircases and other amenities, were implemented in 2005.
The Murray Hill station is the 107th of 124 to be updated as part of the LIRR Modernization Program to enhance locations in compliance with the ADA, which requires all electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities.
“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,” City Councilmember Peter Koo (D-Flushing) said in a prepared statement.
According to the MTA, the Murray Hill station transports an average of more than 1,200 daily riders, making it the 69th busiest stop of the 124 LIRR stations.
The MTA has been running on an essential schedule since March 24, which now includes stopping service from 1 to 5 a.m. for deep cleaning. Most LIRR lines continue to operate every half hour or hourly, but all ticket counters are closed and onboard cash purchases are no longer accepted. Social distancing and face coverings for riders are required.