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LIRR expansion plan won't require property acquisitions, Cuomo says

A plan to add a third track to MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) will not require any residential property acquisitions, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday.

The LIRR initially anticipated acquiring portions of up to 20 properties to construct the expansion, but the plan has been revised to ensure that the expansion occurs entirely within the existing right-of-way, according to a news release issued by Cuomo's office.

At a Long Island Association meeting yesterday, Gov. Cuomo announced that his plan to expand MTA Long Island Rail Road wouldn't require any residential property acquisitions.
Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo is also collaborating with local mayors and the LIRR to review all seven street-level grade crossings along the LIRR expansion project corridor. The governor's administration will work with communities to eliminate the crossings and find a better approach for each, Cuomo's news release said.

"This plan is a transformative project for Long Island," Cuomo said. "My administration is fully committed to mitigating the project’s impact on surrounding communities and improving safety overall."

Cuomo's plan reduces the expansion corridor to 9.8 miles, compared with 11.5 miles in previous proposals.

The project is aimed at expanding capacity by building an additional track on LIRR's Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville.

Currently, the railroad can run trains only in one direction on that section of track. The expansion project will allow LIRR to increase service, reduce congestion and train delays, and enable the railroad to run "reverse-peak" trains to allow riders to travel to jobs on Long Island during traditional business hours, according to Cuomo's office.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/9/2016