A new environmental study draft has been released for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) proposed third track for the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) expansion project in New York, US.
The LIRR expansion project will see the addition of a third track to 9.8 miles along the congested the LIRR main line between Floral Park and Hicksville.
All seven street-level train crossings known as ‘grade crossings’, will be eliminated within the project corridor to reduce road traffic and pollution from automobiles idling at crossing gates.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said: "By increasing capacity on one of the LIRR’s busiest corridors and eliminating all street-level grade crossings, this project will result in less traffic, less congestion and a transportation network that meets the needs of current and future generations of Long Islanders.
“Today’s action marks an important milestone in this project’s completion and is another major step forward in our efforts to build a brighter future for Long island.”
The scientific, engineering and socioeconomic study is needed to identify any potential impacts of public construction projects, and will help ensure that they are performed safely.
Following the study’s findings, it was demonstrated that the project would improve service and reduce delays for LIRR customers throughout the system.
MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast said: “We have gone to extraordinary lengths to listen to what the public wants out of this project.
“We will continue to study the impacts of this proposal and take input from all stakeholders, including our neighbors along the tracks and Main Line customers from across Long Island and New York City.”
The proposed project will include no residential property acquisitions and eliminate all grade crossings within the project corridor.
As part of the rail project, sound walls will be built to reduce noise and station upgrades would be carried out.
The project is also expected to result in noise reduction throughout sections of the corridor from proposed retaining walls and sound attenuation walls along the railroad’s right-of-way.
It includes major track infrastructure upgrades such as new switches, signals and power equipment, as well as upgrades to accommodate full-length trains.