Christmas came to Long Island in July.
But even as we were given one gift we really wanted last week — the approval of the Long Island Rail Road’s third-track project — we’re not done dreaming of ways to remake the region’s transportation infrastructure, from roads and rails to bridges and ports. The wish list remains long.
The effort needed to push the third track forward showed everyone that big change doesn’t come easy; there will always be retrograde forces trying to stop progress, and the hurdles may at times seem insurmountable. But the effort to modernize the LIRR showed what’s possible with broad support, leadership and focus.
That’s especially true for transportation, a particular trouble spot as of late. The roads seem more crowded and train commuters face a summer of schedule changes during emergency repairs at Penn Station. The region’s network must get to a state of good repair, but Long Island also needs to think about travel across the region in the next 10 or 20 years.
The third track is a nearly $2 billion project that will take three or four years to construct. Now the region must confront other problems and begin to form a…
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