'To better fortify the branch, construction is starting on a four-year project to build three new power stations, replace switch machines, signals and communications systems as well as third rail equipment and, lastly, harden the electrical system that powers the Wreck Lead Bridge, which spans Reynolds Channel and connects Island Park to the City of Long Beach [N.Y.]," LIRR said April 12, 2014.
Work includes extensive clearing of trees and bushes on LIRR property to make way for a new pole line that will anchor new signal, communications, and electrical systems and allow their placement well above the flood plain, LIRR said. Vegetation-related work began Monday, April 14, using "private contractors under the supervision of a New York State licensed arborist and LIRR personnel." br>
Said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast, "The LIRR is an economic lifeline for tens of thousands of residents on the South Shore of Nassau County who commute to and from work each day via the Long Beach Branch. It is no less important to the City of Long Beach, a destination for thousands more heading to the community's beautiful public beachfront and its popular restaurants and nightlife. There is no better insurance for the economic vitality of this region than ensuring the safe and reliable future operation of the LIRR's Long Beach Branch."
He added, "The MTA has added nine Long Island Rail Road Sandy restoration projects to its 2010-2014 Capital Programs, a total commitment of $265 million and the plans for Long Beach represent a major part of that effort."