After storm, LIRR 3rd track supporters see green times ahead – New York News

Supporters of the Long Island Rail Road’s plan to build a third track on its Main Line in Nassau County on Wednesday celebrated news that the final obstacle to its passage — Republican support — had been resolved, clearing the way for a project they say will transform Long Island as few others in recent history.

The $2 billion project, which could begin this year after weathering a storm of public and political opposition, aims to improve the commutes of tens of thousands of LIRR riders by increasing capacity on a critical 9.8-mile stretch between Floral Park and Hicksville. The third track would also help the LIRR more quickly bounce back from service disruptions and facilitate reverse commuting, according to planners.

In addition to bringing billions of dollars to the region, the project will increase property values, including by reducing existing noise pollution and eliminating seven rail grade crossings, supporters say.

“One cannot overestimate the impact third track will have in attracting and keeping the millennial generation that will power the future Long Island,’’ said Kyle Strober, executive director of the Association for a Better Long Island, a business and planning group. ‘‘Businesses will be more likely to call Long Island home with an educated workforce and a more reliable…

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