Friday, May 06, 2016

Public input sought for LIRR triple-track project

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In a bid to make good on a promise to promote community engagement for the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Expansion Project, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out plans for public meetings, launched a new website and committed to expedited grade crossing improvements.

The LIRR Expansion Project proposes building a third track along a nearly 10-mile stretch along LIRR's main line between Floral Park and Hicksville and modify or eliminate seven grade crossings: Covert Ave., South 12th St. and New Hyde Park Rd., all in New Hyde Park; Main St. and Willis Ave., in Mineola; School St. in Westbury and Urban Ave. in New Cassel. A detailed draft scoping document that outlines options for modifying the crossings and the proposed environmental analysis has been released. The draft scoping report presents several safety-enhancing options for crossing improvements along the project's 9.8-mile route. These construction improvements would also take place on an expedited timetable—with each grade crossing project completed in nine months or less—to significantly ease local traffic congestion.

Four public meetings will be held at the end of May in New Hyde Park, Hempstead, Westbury and Hicksville to detail plans for the project's environmental review process. Project stakeholders previously announced that no residential property acquisitions would be needed for the project, but community members wishing to comment on the project can do so at the meetings or on the project's new website,

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials also opened a LIRR Expansion Project Information Center on May 6, located on the south platform at the Mineola Train Station. This information center provides opportunities for people to review the recently released scoping document and ask questions.

MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Prendergast said: "We all know grade crossings are a chronic problem, complicating traffic flow and presenting round-the-clock safety challenges. The Governor's commitment to speeding up the construction to solve crossing issues along the project route is welcome news for everyone."

"A third track on the main line is crucial to the future of Long Island," said Gov. Cuomo. "This project will make the LIRR more reliable for millions of customers, while also eliminating multiple dangerous train crossings along the main line. Our proposal will ensure that we can continue to improve the quality of life and grow the economy in the region, and I encourage New Yorkers to learn more about how we're working to build a brighter future for Long Island.

More information regarding the public meetings can be found at the LIRR Expansion Project's website:








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