Village vexed by plan for 3rd track near pool complex

Plans to add a third track to the main LIRR line are worrying Floral Park residents and officials because of the proximity to the village's new pool complex.

The village spent millions of dollars building the complex that's been frequented by many families this summer. Long Island Rail Road tracks are currently just feet away from the complex beyond a line of trees and greenery, and the third track would be laid right next to the current tracks.

Floral Park Mayor Thomas Tweedy says a third track would necessitate building a retaining wall, which he worries could affect the pool complex.

"When you do the work that'll have to be done, driving in the piles to put up the wall, what impact will that have on the pools themselves? What if we get a crack in the pools? They're 2 years old," Tweedy says.

Residents are also expressing concern about construction. "My kids are worried they might not hear the lifeguards, they're worried about the noise level, debris from any construction that'll be going on," says Kellie Kuntz, who adds that they're at the pool every day.

But an MTA spokesman says the agency does major construction projects all the time, many times right up against other structures.

"There's 700 miles of track in the Long Island Rail Road system," says John McCarthy, with the MTA. "We'll look at the structural integrity of the pool and every other location along the way to make sure there's no disruption."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is hoping to begin construction on the third track next year. It would take about four years to complete.

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