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Time to finally build a Sunnyside Station for LIRR commuters, Maloney tells MTA

The MTA had included plans for a station in western Queens in its original proposal for East Side Access.

Sheila Lewandowski, center, Rep Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) and

Sheila Lewandowski, center, Rep Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) and other community activists make a plea for Sunnyside Yards in New York as a part of the MTA's East Side Access plan. Photo Credit: Newsday/Howard Simmons

A federal lawmaker is calling on the MTA to make good on a promise made two decades ago to build a Long Island Rail Road station in western Queens as part of the agency’s long-delayed East Side Access megaproject.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) joined activists in Queens on Monday to urge the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to advance plans to construct a Sunnyside Station. She said Long Island City’s booming population and development, including a proposal by Amazon to build offices there, have heightened the need for the station.

“It is an outrage that we don’t have this built already,” Maloney said. “The infrastructure is not keeping up with the growth of the area. It is becoming a crisis.”

The MTA included plans for a Sunnyside Station in its original proposal for East Side Access, the $11.2 billion effort to link the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal via newly bored tunnels.

But as East Side Access, which once was scheduled for completion in 2009, has been delayed, so too has been the prospect of Sunnyside Station. The MTA originally earmarked about $77 million in its 2015-19 Capital Program to begin work on the station, but last year reallocated the funds to cover other growing costs, including the latest budget overrun for East Side Access. At the time, the MTA said the station work was “anticipated to be included in future capital programs.”

Also complicating the plans for a new station is a separate proposal by Amtrak and New York City to construct a new residential and commercial development on top of Amtrak’s rail yard in Sunnyside, near where an LIRR station would be located.

“As NYCEDC and Amtrak develop a Master Plan for a potential overbuild of Sunnyside Yards, the MTA is working with them to ensure that options for a station can be pursued without compromising future LIRR service or operations,” MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said Monday.

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