FLORAL PARK – A new draft environmental study has been released for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s proposed third track for the Long Island Rail Road, bringing the controversial project one step closer to construction.
The plan would add a third rail along 9.8 miles of the LIRR’s main line between Floral Park and Hicksville.
In the new proposal, MTA officials say the plan does not include any acquisition of residential property. It does, however, call for the elimination of all grade crossings, the construction of sound walls and station upgrades that include longer platforms and additional parking.
Some residents tell News 12 they are still opposed to adding a third track, despite some of the plan’s changes. Others say a third track can only help those who rely on the LIRR for transportation.
MTA special advisor John McCarthy says the agency is committed to listening to the concerns of residents by setting up a hotline and making sure the affected communities know exactly when construction will take place.
A public comment period on the study runs through the end of January.
The MTA says the project will take three to four years to complete once it gets the green light.