Brookhaven Rail Terminal expansion set in motion in Yaphank; neighbors skeptical

The Brookhaven Rail Terminal in Yaphank is a 28-acre site that accepts freight loads by using LIRR tracks.

The Brookhaven Rail Terminal in Yaphank is a 28-acre site that accepts freight loads by using LIRR tracks. (8/5/13)

YAPHANK - A rail yard that aims to ease traffic by getting trucks off of Long Island's roads is planning to expand, but some neighbors don't think it's a great idea.

The Brookhaven Rail Terminal in Yaphank is a 28-acre site that accepts freight loads by using LIRR tracks, allowing large shipments easy access to Long Island outlets. Home Depot is one of several firms that uses the rail yard's services.

Terminal official Daniel Miller says in the year that the yard has been in operation, it has received more than 1,600 rail cars. He says that has taken nearly 7,000 trucks off of Long Island's roads and bridges. Officials say replacing trucks with trains is better for the environment and for easing congestion on Long Island's roads.

The terminal is slated to expand to encompass an additional 300 acres, but some neighbors are skeptical of the benefits.

Civic leader Maryann Johnston says local truck traffic has increased three-fold, and adds that construction projects and additional traffic will only hurt the area's already poor ozone quality.

Officials with the Brookhaven Rail Terminal say they have already started clearing the remaining land for more development. However, the larger, finalized terminal is still years away.

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