A new round of renovations, taking place in two phases, will include the installation of an elevator and platform changes.
Three years ago, the Scarsdale Village replaced a staircase connecting the outbound train platform to East Parkway at the Scarsdale train station.
Mark Mannix, senior director of corporate and public affairs for Metro-North Railroad, said the planned renovation would make the train station more wheelchair accessible.
“The east side of the station is already wheelchair accessible,” Mannix said. “An elevator was installed in the ’90s. We’re planning to install another one on the west side of the station.”
The project is complex, so it will be completed in two phases.
The first phase is the elevator, which is included in the MTA’s current capital program. The plans involve the construction of an elevator, an elevator machine room and a communication room, a new sidewalk and curb cut near the elevator to accommodate wheelchairs, new amenities in the overpass and raising the height of the existing overpass.
The first phase is set to be finished by the third quarter of this year, but the MTA has to procure a contractor, award a contract and complete the construction. Construction is expected to take about 20 months, so the first phase should be complete by the third quarter of 2021.
“I’m thrilled [MTA] is renovating the train station,” said Carol Silverman, chairman of the Scarsdale Senior Citizens Advisory Council. “It’ll be great to have an elevator installed.”
Speaking from personal experiences, Silverman said she has some difficulty at times walking up a set of stairs because of her knee.
Marian Green, chairman of the Council on People with Disabilities, said it’s important for all members of the community to have equal access, and she said she wants Metro-North to assume full responsibility for the elevator — not just construction, but maintenance and upkeep as well.
“It’s great to have these things, but we need to make sure they’re maintained and in order,” she said.
“The whole community will benefit from having an elevator,” Silverman said. She said there’s no question that handicap accessibility is very important, but parents pushing baby strollers as well as expectant mothers can also benefit from the elevator.
Deputy Directory of Special Projects for Metro-North Ziona Rubin said the other scope of the first phase of the project includes jacking the overpass — raising it up by hydraulic lift — to allow trains to operate safely during construction.
Because of the demands of work, MTA has phased work in the village and in Hartsdale.
The Hartsdale train station off of E. Hartsdale Avenue will have two elevators installed, with initial construction beginning spring 2020.
The second phase of work will be funded through the MTA’s next capital program. The scope of work includes replacement of station platforms with heated platforms, new canopies, a PA system, customer information displays, security cameras and platform amenities like benches, help points and heated shelters.
Rubin said most of the work shouldn’t hinder access to the train platform in the first phase, but to jack the overpass, they’ll have to do work on a Friday night.
“At that point, the station will be closed,” she said. “Those few hours at night is when the jacking operation will be done.”
Noise during construction is not likely to be a problem, Rubin said, because the only operations that will create noise will occur during the excavation of the elevator pit. Otherwise, most of the work will be completed during the day between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
A presentation showing plans for the project is posted on the village’s website at scarsdale.com.