Ron LeeJul 12, 2017, 10:10 amJul 14, 2017, 8:27 am

Public funding for proposed 3rd LIRR track rolls forward

Project calls for railroad line to run between Floral Park and Hicksville


It's been talked about for years, but now the final obstacle to getting a third track built on the main line for the Long Island Railroad has been cleared. But is everyone on board with this decision?

When the 9.8 mile, third track on the main line is built it will go from Floral Park to Hicksville and pass through New Hyde Park.

It won't help with the current commuter crisis, but the idea for a third track to help ease congestion, especially when there are service disruptions, has been talked about for decades. And as of Tuesday night, Republicans in the State Senate removed the last major hurdle for the project by signing off public funding for the track.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo had pushed for the track and now scores a major political victory with the MTA agreeing to several upgrades, including renovated station stops and new parking garages in impacted communities, in addition to an updated signal system for Penn Station.

And despite a number of residents from Floral Park and New Hyde Park that had spoken out with concerns against the project…"We're not saying yes, we agree this is a great project and it should go through. And we're not saying it's not a great project," said Incorporated Village of New Hyde Park Mayor Lawrence Montreuil last month.

The LIRR has also promised to minimize the potential impacts of construction by building retaining walls and sound barrier walls adjacent to the new track, monitoring noise and vibrations, and studying potential traffic improvements.

Meantime, supporters have said the third track could be a major boost to the area because it will allow the LIRR to run more trains in both directions and recover more quickly when there are service disruptions.

Supporters have also said the third track could create jobs, boost property values and keep more young people in both Nassau and Suffolk.

No word yet on when construction might begin or end.

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