Metro-North’s Cortlandt Station Project Wins Planning Award


Metro-North and the Town of Cortlandt have received a Planning Achievement Award from the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation for the expanded Cortlandt Station.

The station design solved several problems: how to improve roadway access to the station, how to make the train accessible to those visiting the Veteran’s Administration Hospital on the west side of the tracks, and how to expand parking with minimal disturbance to the environment.

The new facility, which opened last year, expanded parking on the west side and built a new entrance with an improved four-way, signalized intersection on Route 9A, providing safe crosswalks and sidewalks with curb cuts for wheelchairs and added parking on land that had been used as a training facility for operators of bull dozers and other heavy equipment.

John Tegeder, Director-at-Large of the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation, praised the partnership between Metro-North and the Town of Cortlandt noting that several properties needed to be swapped.  He said the jury also appreciated the architecture of the station and hoped that it become a model for other Metro-North stations.  The project also made the station much more convenient to reach.

Metro-North President Howard Permut said many goals  were achieved: access for the disabled, more parking, environmental improvements, traffic safety and better connectivity to the VA hospital.

Linda Puglisi, Cortlandt Town Supervisor, noted that the town was proud to submit the application to the Federation on behalf of Metro-North. “It’s a tremendous asset for our Cortlandt community and congratulations to Metro-North,”  she said.

Accessibility for the disabled was achieved with new elevators to serve both parking lots and the center island platform. The new overpass has enclosed staircases and a spacious, heated waiting area with numerous benches, a restroom and a coffee concession.

The award was presented at the Federation’s annual awards dinner June 6 in Tarrytown. Accepting the award on behalf of Metro-North was Karen Timko, Director of Environmental Compliance, and Ms. Puglisi on behalf of the Town of Cortlandt.

The plaza includes a ground-level snack vending area, a parking pay station, a ticket vending machine and a restroom with a composting toilet.  The lot has spaces for 720 cars, 10 motorcycles and ample bicycle parking.  An additional heated shelter was built on the north end of the platform and the entire facility has new lighting, signage and emergency call boxes. 

Native, drought-resistant landscaping, including maple, birch, pine and locust trees, complements the improvements. In addition, because the land had been continuously disturbed by machine operators in training, there was no vegetation and nothing to prevent erosion during storms.

Planners addressed this with drainage improvements as part of a comprehensive storm water pollution prevention system that included creation of a large, open detention pond planted with native wetland species. In addition, the lot was designed and sloped to completely avoid pre-existing wetlands at the northwest corner.

To build the improvements at Cortlandt, several land transfers and purchases had to be accomplished.  Local 14 of the International Union of Operating Engineers relocated to property previously owned by the Keon Center Inc., which relocated to a new facility.  Metro-North also purchased 2.1 acres from the Town of Cortlandt to put together the 9.5-acre site. In addition, Metro-North obtained a permanent easement from Peckham Industries to allow construction of the overpass extension and to enable future construction of a platform on the west side. 

The project cost was $34.7 million.  The Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ) program, in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration, contributed $21.2 million.  This includes a CMAQ grant to New York State Department of Transportation of $5.2 million for the intersection improvements.  MTA Metro-North's capital program contributed $13.5 million to the project.

Design of the new facility was by Jacobs Engineers.  Design of the Route 9A intersection improvements was by AECOM.  Construction was by ECCO III Enterprises and construction management was handled by STV Inc.