Disruption for Hell’s Kitchen car owners and New York railroad passengers continues as Amtrak engineers, NYC Department of Building (DOB) inspectors and the landlords of 747 10th Avenue grapple to solve the structural issues at the W51st Street parking garage.

Amtrak W51st Street car parking Railtrack
The Amtrak rail tracks are clearly visible through the hole in the ramp at the Icon parking garage at W51st Street. Photo: W42ST Reader

As of Tuesday morning, the interruption of services showed no signs of abating — with Amtrak providing no clarity on the return to service, and Icon, who operate the Hudsonview Terrace parking garage at 524 W51st Street, saying that Saturday would likely be the earliest that over 100 car owners could access their stranded vehicles.

On Friday, Hell’s Kitchen residents were stopped from retrieving their vehicles — or parking them at the W51st Street garage — after FDNY requested DOB make a “structural stability inspection due to compromised ramps.” The DOB served a partial vacate order on the entire garage “due to defective concrete throughout at the time of inspection.”

Amtrak W51st Street car parking
DOB staff on the tracks inspecting underneath the parking garage. Photo: DOB.

Amtrak engineers at the parking garage on Monday morning were joined by the DOB inspectors, who said via X: “Structural engineers have been on site at 747 10th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen since Friday, conducting structural stability inspections at a parking garage that was found to have significant issues directly above two Amtrak rail lines. Our highly trained and experienced engineers have taken immediate actions at the site in the interest of public safety, including vacating the impacted parking garage, and ordering the building owners to make emergency repairs.”

The start of vital repairs at the garage is contingent upon the submission of a plan by the landlord’s engineer, with the timeline for the resumption of Empire Line services in and out of Penn Station remaining uncertain.

Amtrak W51st Street car parking
A team from Amtrak heading into the parking garage on Monday morning. Photo: Phil O’Brien

The DOB has reported two significant holes in the parking garage directly above the Amtrak train tracks. The first, found on the entrance ramp, measures 6 inches by 10 inches, and the second, located on a ramp leading to the lower level of the garage, is 2 inches by 5 inches. These openings provide a clear, if concerning, view from the garage down to the train tracks below

Meanwhile, Amtrak reiterated that they would not be running trains under the car park, but gave no indication of when they expected services to return to normal. “You can still travel to and from Albany and Manhattan. All southbound lines will stop in Croton-Harmon (CRT) and Metro North will honor your fares between CRT and New York Penn Station (NYP). Only travel between CRT and NYP will be affected on our end, that is why Metro North is helping out,” Amtrak said on Monday evening via X

Amtrak W51st Street car parking
DOB staff on the tracks inspecting underneath the parking garage. Photo: DOB.

In the interim, travelers are advised to consult Amtrak for ticketing assistance and to explore alternative transportation modes, including increased Trailways coach bus service.

As the city intensifies its scrutiny of parking structures following a fatal collapse downtown in April, the incident in Hell’s Kitchen further underscores the pressing need for infrastructure renewal. With over 1,000 parking structure inspections due by year’s end and only 100 garages currently submitting a report to the DOB, this event has put an exclamation point on the urgency of these efforts.

Manhattan Community Board 4 Chair Jeffrey LeFrancois told us: “More than anything, this shows the state of our infrastructure is perilous because we’ve failed to maintain the things that literally built the city and connect the region. From the tubes under the Hudson to the tracks of the Empire Line, we need a return to being proud of building and improving the infrastructure that’s the backbone of the city and the economy.”

PIX11 asked former DOB Commissioner Rick Chandler about the risk to residents at Hudsonview Terrace, the 38-story apartment building at 747 10th Avenue, above the parking garage. “There should be no concern for these residents in their homes,” Chandler said.

Amtrak W51st Street car parking
One of the many TV crews on W51st Street on Monday evening. Photo: Phil O’Brien

For now, the most significant parking issue on W51st Street is the number of TV news crews at the site. We counted seven when we passed by on Monday evening!

We will continue to update this story…

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