Westbury, New York – (March 24, 2017) – Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro was joined today by Oyster Bay Supervisor Joe Saladino and other Nassau County elected officials at Westbury Village Hall to announce growing and unprecedented support for the LIRR Expansion Project within the project corridor. As proposed by Governor Cuomo, the LIRR Expansion Project will create a third track along 9.8 miles of the LIRR’s Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville, eliminate seven at-grade crossings, increase safety for motorists and pedestrians, decrease local noise and traffic, create tens of thousands of jobs regionally and increase capacity and service reliability for the LIRR’s 300,000 daily system-wide commuters.
“For the first time in the history of efforts to expand the capacity of and modernize the LIRR, we are looking at a completely new plan that promises to limit the impact to our communities and add real benefits for our residents,” said Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro. “The Governor’s team and the MTA engaged our Village at the earliest stages, and we feel that our concerns are being addressed, our needs are being met and we are being offered a project that will not only catalyze economic growth, but also improve quality of life locally and better our community.”
Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said, “The third track has a controversial history in Mineola – but with the Governor’s latest effort, we were invited to the table to help shape the plan in a way that benefits our Village. We directly engaged with the Governor’s project team on design elements and contributed ideas on how to make this plan work while limiting any negative impacts to Mineola residents. We are pleased to be a productive party in those discussions and look forward to seeing a final plan reflective of a newly energized station area for our downtown once the project comes to fruition.”
“This project delivers the upgraded service our commuters have been asking for,” said Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino. “Combined with other station enhancements we know, together with the state, we are building a better Hicksville and a better Town of Oyster Bay. I appreciate all the Governor is doing for the residents of our Town.”
The announcement comes on the heels of two new announcements this week about the project from the MTA. On Wednesday the LIRR Expansion Project team released information that connected the third track to service reliability improvements beyond the project corridor and Main Line branches. According to the news release, incidents within the Floral Park-Hicksville corridor are often responsible for delays system wide, causing ripple effects for commuters on every branch. The MTA also released a video of LIRR customers describing their current travel experiences and how a third track would help their commutes. The video was released on Twitter via @aModernLI and is also viewable on the project website at www.aModernLI.com or directly on YouTube at https://youtu.be/W0-2_ipTKf4
“The LIRR Expansion Project is a necessary undertaking if we want to keep Long Island competitive,” said New York State Assembly Member Michael Montesano. “We cannot thrive in the 21st century with a 19th century transit system – it’s that simple. I applaud the Governor and his project team for their thoughtful approach to developing smart growth solutions for my constituents while weighing the needs of this pioneering transportation project that will have transformative effects on our region.”
The unprecedented improvements and investments in Hicksville are long awaited and enthusiastically supported,” said Nassau Legislator Rose Walker. Long Island’s commuters are tired of waiting for trains, for parking, for crossing gates and for improvements to the LIRR. The LIRR Expansion Project offers solutions that can help bring the LIRR up to speed – and up to date.”
State officials also released information this week on a March 30 workshop run by the New York Empire State Development and the MTA’s Small Business Development Program, in which minority, woman and veteran-owned local businesses can learn about the project and how to work on it, should it be approved. Officials announced that more than 700 local business people have already RSVPd for the workshop.
Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Anthony Macagnone said, “The LIRR Expansion Project is expected to create thousands of construction and other jobs in the short term and make way for even more opportunity as we experience new growth both locally and regionally. Infrastructure is one of the best investments the government can make – and as a representative from a community that pays some of the highest taxes in the State, I’m proud to support a project that will return some of those tax dollars to Oyster Bay.”
Town of Oyster Bay Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia said, “The LIRR Expansion Project will bring modernization to our community, a better commute for our Town’s many residents who work in the city, and much needed station improvements and parking capacity to our area train station. I share the Governor’s vision of strengthening our commitment to the environment via public transportation on Long Island, as well as the benefits of a more efficient and effective mass transit system that is vital to making our area more attractive to younger residents.”
Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Viviana Russell said, “Residents of North Hempstead rely heavily on the LIRR to get to and from their jobs – and modernizing the system would mean a serious improvement in their day to day lives. I was glad to see the project team heavily engaged with local leaders, residents and business owners, and it is clear that they are making every effort to make sure everyone’s voice is heard concerning this project.”