The federal government will award $83.3 million in stimulus money to transform New York City's main post office building into a rail gateway, Sen. Charles Schumer said Tuesday.
The funding from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act means that the first phase of the long-delayed project can go forward this year, Schumer said. The new station is to be named after the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
"I am so proud to have secured this vital funding to get the long awaited Moynihan Station project up and running,'' said Schumer, D-N.Y. "Moynihan Station is the poster child for the best way to use federal funding -- it creates jobs, upgrades aging transportation infrastructure and leaves behind an economic engine for the entire region.''
Phase I of the project will include infrastructure improvements like new escalators and elevators for better access to train platforms.
According to Friends of Moynihan Station, a coalition of civic groups that has been advocating for the project, Phase I should be completed by 2015 and is the prerequisite to Phase II, actually moving the train station from the site it shares with Madison Square Garden across Eighth Avenue to the building that now houses the Post Office.
Phase II will cost $1 billion to $1.5 billion and must be funded separately.
The project's developer, Related Companies, said in a statement, "With all of the funding in place for Phase I, today's announcement is the critical milestone that will enable Senator Moynihan's vision for a grand gateway to New York to be realized.''