Briella TomassettiAug 1, 2017, 4:43 pmAug 1, 2017, 4:47 pm

Multi-million dollar project at Wantagh Station is delaying commuters

Officials say the construction project will offer much-needed upgrades, renovations that will improve commute in the long run

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Around 6,000 passengers commute from Wantagh Station into Manhattan every single day, but many of them have run into delays since the start of the LIRR Rehabilitation Project, which began last spring.

Though commuters can still access the station during construction and board the first six cars on the platform, many of them say they still get held up in the process.

"I take the train from Jamaica about four times a week. When there are delays, I have to ride my bike from Rosedale," Ray said.

The nearly $24 million dollar project, completely financed via the MTA, lies in the hands of Long Island-based Fortunato Sons Contracting Incorporated, the same company that completed the Massapequa Train Station rehabilitation.

Construction crews have already demolished the east end of the platform and are working their way down to the other side.

Improvements will include a new concrete platform, a segmented canopy, a waiting room, a new escalator and elevator, new signage, and a public art display.

LIRR Spokesman Aaron Donovan says that the project hasn't had a huge effect on parking but local businesses in the area say it could become an issue when the second phase of construction begins in the fall.

"Come October, they're transitioning down the train station lot, and they're going to be in front of our parking lot, we believe. And it's going to affect our customers getting into the store and out. We initially wanted them to go on the other side of the tracks, but they couldn't because of the telephone poles," said Dan Sirota, owner of Brands Cycle and Fitness.

The project is all part of an initiative by Governor Cuomo to speed up station enhancement projects by allowing private sector companies to use their own designs.

The work is all slated for completion by mid-2018.

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