Monday, May 01, 2006

"Cash for Forgotten Airport Link May Help Build Stadium Station " NY Times 04/26/06

Do you really believe this? Will this Metro North station ever really be built? Or will it be "abandoned" like that airport subway link, which was a pet project of Giuliani? If it ever does get built, will the community residents be able to use it 365 days a year like the stations that the suburban residents in White Plains and Bronxville have? Or will the new station be opened only during those 81 Yankee home games and the rare subway strike?

More importantly if the Metro North station is built then why waste over $74.9 million in NY city and state taxpayer money for building those unnecessary new garages? While we are discussing this, if you don't need these garages then why can't the Yankees renovate in the same place or build adjacent to the House-That-Ruth Built just like the Mets are doing in Queens? Did the city really have to sacrifice a centralized park like Macombs and Mullaly to satisfy a greedy old man like George Steinbrenner and his lackey Randy Levine?

Are these questions too logical?

Cash for Forgotten Airport Link May Help Build Stadium Station

By PATRICK McGEEHAN in NYTimes on April 26, 2006

Yesterday's subway link to La Guardia Airport could be tomorrow's train station at Yankee Stadium if the governor and the mayor get their way at today's meeting of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board.

Under orders from Gov. George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to build a Metro-North Railroad station at the Yankees' planned stadium in the Bronx, the transportation authority has dug into an old pot of money and found $40 million. The money is left over from $645 million that was set aside for the extension of the N subway line to La Guardia.

The airport subway link, which was a pet project of Mr. Bloomberg's predecessor, Rudolph W. Giuliani, was "abandoned," said Tom Kelly, a spokesman for the authority.
The authority spent about half the money allocated for that project to buy several private bus lines in the past year and plans to spend $70 million on a new bus depot on Staten Island.

The authority's board is scheduled to vote today to transfer $40 million to Metro-North's capital plan for a station on the Hudson Line that would serve people traveling between the baseball stadium and Manhattan or the northern suburbs. So far, the only money that has been budgeted for the station is $5 million in Metro-North's five-year spending plan from 2000 to 2004.

Metro-North spent less than $2 million of that money on a preliminary design of the station by DMJM Harris, a transportation construction company with headquarters in New York and Los Angeles. Yesterday, the Metro-North Railroad Committee approved the payment of an additional $2.1 million to DMJM Harris over three years for the design of the platforms and track work that would be needed at the station.

Peter A. Cannito, the president of Metro-North, said $45 million was "a reasonable number for what needs to be done" to build the station, which would sit near the Harlem River.

The city's Parks Department has agreed to spend $9 million to build a pedestrian overpass that would link the new stadium and the riverfront, said Warner Johnston, a spokesman for the department. He said that Metro-North could connect its station to the overpass, giving people a path to the stadium.

City and state officials have floated the idea of a stadium station for years, with estimates of its cost varied. In the late 1980's, the transportation authority estimated that it would cost about $8 million, but a more recent estimate suggested that it could cost as much as $80 million, transit officials said.

The proposed station would have two platforms long enough to accommodate 10-car trains on four tracks. Metro-North would provide shuttle service between the stadium and Grand Central Terminal.


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