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NEW YORK CITY-New York State Gov. Eliot Spitzer, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Congressman José Serrano, Bronx Borough Pres. Adolfo Carrion and MTA executive director and CEO Elliot Sander broke ground Friday at Yankee Stadium on the Metro-North Railroad station, due to increase mass transit options to stadium. According to a report, the $91-million station, which will be completed in the second quarter of 2009, will reduce neighborhood traffic around the stadium on game days. It will also provide a year-round transit option that will support economic development in the resurgent South Bronx, providing improved access to the Gateway Center due to open at the Bronx Terminal Market in the fall of 2009.

Yankee owner George Steinbrenner said, “The Metro North Station will be a tremendous hit for the Yankees, our Yankees fans and for our new stadium. It’s absolutely great in terms of the convenience and public service it will afford.”

Kate Slevin, acting executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign notes, “The more the city and state work together to promote transit and limit parking supply at new stadiums and other developments in our city, the greener our future will become.”

Metro-North estimates that between 6,000 and 12,000 people will use the station whenever the Yankees play at home. It is located on Metro-North’s Hudson Line six miles north of Grand Central and just south of the Macombs Dam Bridge and next to the Major Deegan Expressway.

The spacious new station, equipped with four elevators, is designed to safely handle peak loads and will be fully accessible to the disabled. According to a statement, the station will provide neighborhood residents with convenient access to the riverfront park and a planned ferry dock that is being built along the Harlem River.

“For decades Metro-North has dreamed of building a station at Yankee Stadium and I am delighted to see it come to fruition,” Metro-North Pres. Peter Cannito explains. “Yankee fans will enjoy even more options for getting to the games and the southwest Bronx will have access to top-notch train service that will give people access to jobs in Yonkers, Tarrytown and on up the Hudson Line as well as to Manhattan.”

It will have four tracks served by two wide island platforms that can accommodate 10-car trains. Above the platform is a 10,000-sf, covered mezzanine, which connects to a 450-foot-long overpass leading to the new stadium, park and ferry. The overpass will be located north of 153rd Street. During construction the existing pedestrian overpass will remain in service on Yankee game days.

Service to the stadium also will be provided for the Harlem and New Haven lines in addition to the Hudson Line on game days as well as shuttles from Grand Central Terminal and the 125th Street Station.

“I’ve always told people to take the train to the game, and this new station will make that an easier and more efficient option for thousands of people. More importantly, we need to continue to upgrade our transit infrastructure and we need a revenue stream to do that, which is why we’ve been working with the State and the MTA on a joint application to the federal government for funds to implement a congestion pricing program,” notes Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “This week we took a giant step forward, and as a result we’ll continue to be able to improve our system and the quality of life for the residents of this entire region.”

The new Metro-North service will complement existing MTA New York City Transit subway service on the B, D and #4 lines, according to the report. By agreement with the City of New York, the MTA will contribute $52 million and the city $39 million toward construction.

Metro-North will operate and maintain the facility. Funding for the MTA’s $52-million contribution to the station comes from the MTA Capital Program ($44 million), higher than anticipated program income ($4 million) and Legislative earmarks ($4 million) from Congressman Jose Serrano, Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo, and Assemblyman Jose Rivera.

Temporary and permanent easements to allow construction were negotiated with the City of New York, New York City Parks Department, the New York State Department of Transportation and two private companies, GAL Manufacturing Corp. and the Related Cos.

Spitzer says, “Today we continue along the path of transforming the South Bronx into a paradigm of urban renewal. When this new MTA Metro-North station opens in 2009, it will be joined by a magnificent new stadium, dozens of acres of new parkland and a ferry link to Manhattan, all of which will serve as a very public reminder of the area’s economic resurgence. The arrival of this new station will not only provide increased transportation options, improved air quality and decreased traffic congestion for all of those who live and work in the South Bronx but will also bring crowds to enjoy a great New York team.”

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