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MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) yesterday marked the start of construction on the $23.9 million modernization of the Wantagh Station.The rehabilitation effort will include a new concrete platform, segmented canopy, platform waiting room, escalator and elevator. The project also calls for a new communications system, signage and a public art project.
The project marks the first significant upgrade to the station since it was built nearly 50 years ago, LIRR officials said in a press release."The Wantagh Station modernization is part of the MTA’s ongoing commitment to Long Island and its future," said MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast. "It will benefit thousands of residents who depend each day on the LIRR, create jobs and enhance the look and feel Wantagh’s business district."Slated for completion in two years, the project is being funded through MTA's capital program, along with a $4 million contribution from Nassau County, N.Y. Fortunato Sons Contracting Inc. is serving as the primary contractor.Each weekday, the station logs more than 5,700 passenger trips.Meanwhile, MTA Metro-North Railroad yesterday announced that it will enter into a contract with Ensco Inc. to design, build and deliver a track geometry vehicle. The unit will use laser, optical and inertial sensor systems to analyze the condition of the rail and track infrastructure and alert Metro-North staff about any anomalies. The diesel-powered rail car will measure geometry, gauge, alignment, speed, twist and warp at one-foot intervals to ensure they meet regulatory standards. Metro-North previously relied on third-party contractors to operate their inspection vehicles on tracks during off hours."The track geometry vehicle now gives Metro-North in-house inspection capability," said Glen Hayden, the railroad's vice president of engineering. "The railroad can examine track and make necessary repairs with greater speed and efficiency, resulting in cost savings."The new unit will undergo calibration and testing before it enters service in early 2018.