Public hearings begin for LIRR third track plan in Nassau

Residents had their chance Tuesday to speak out about plans for a third track on the Long Island Rail Road in Nassau County.

The third track would run for an approximate 10-mile stretch from Floral Park to Hicksville.

Supporters say a third set of tracks would allow more trains into and out of Penn Station in both the morning and evening. Opponents, primarily homeowners who live near the train tracks in question, say more trains will bring more noise.

LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski says that no private property will need to be taken for the project and that the railroad will work with communities to minimize the impact of construction.

"You've heard us use the term 'unprecedented outreach.' That applies now when we're figuring out the scope of the project and it'll apply as we develop the design of the project," says Nowakowski.

There are seven grade crossings in the stretch that is being proposed. They would all be eliminated under the proposed plan. One proposal would have the road built underneath the existing tracks.

The project is expected to cost more than $1 billion.

Tuesday's meetings took place at Hofstra University and the Inn at New Hyde Park. Wednesday's public hearings will take place at the Yes We Can Community Center in Westbury and Antun's by Minar catering hall in Hickville.


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