A soaring atrium offset by three stories of granite, glass and limestone grandeur is set to ease the ride of more than 50,000 Long Island Rail Road commuters as Metropolitan Transportation Authority brass joined borough officials for the grand opening of the new Atlantic Terminal Pavilion in Downtown Brooklyn.
The imposing, $108 million structure, which took six years to construct and connects the LIRR to 15 bus and subway lines, will attract more people to Brooklyn, said Borough President Marty Markowitz who was joined at the ribbon-cutting by MTA Chairman Jay Walder, LIRR President Helena Williams and a steady stream of straphangers on their maiden voyage through the major transit hub, Atlantic Avenue and Hanson Place.
Funded by the Federal Transit Administration and the MTA Long Island Rail Road Capital Program, the terminal adjoins the LIRR to the B,D,M,N,Q,R,2,3,4 and 5 trains, in addition to five bus routes. New amenities include a customer waiting area, ticket offices, restrooms, plus police and employee facilities.
The elevated chamber, linked internally to an office building an retail complex, allows natural light to reach the below-ground LIRR concourse and subway station, and two sweeping staircases provide direct access from the street to the concourse.
“This will be a shining beacon for travelers escaping Nassau County, aka ‘Brooklyn Near East,’ and Suffolk County, aka ‘Brooklyn far East,’” quipped Markowitz, adding, “Anything that brings more people to Brooklyn is a welcome addition.”