LIRR third track plan gets green light

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State Senate Republicans approved funding for the Long Island Rail Road's third track plan Tuesday at a cost of nearly $2 billion. 

The plan involves adding a track on the main LIRR line between Floral Park and Hicksville, which is 9.8 miles. 

Some residents in those communities say they are disappointed and are worried the MTA will not keep their promises about protecting the quality of life of neighbors along the tracks.

Floral Park's William Corbett has been fighting the proposal for years, concerned about the impact on communities that border the tracks.

"The governor is promising commuters a summer of hell. I think with this new project we're looking towards a decade of disruption." said Corbett. 

Village mayors say they have come to an agreement with the MTA about how those issues will be handled down the road.  

"The [Memorandum of Understanding] addresses those things in a general term. There will be more specific terms as we go along with the design build team and construction companies," said Floral Park Mayor Dominick Longobardi. 

The MTA says the additional track will allow the LIRR to run more trains in both directions. Gov. Andrew Cuomo hailed the project as a major victory for the region's economy.

"Getting on the LIE is not what sells Long Island. It's the LIRR. Making the LIRR run better isn't just better for commuters, it's better for all Long Islanders," said Gov. Cuomo. 

The project will also modernize LIRR signals, remove a number of street-level railroad crossings and build noise-deflecting walls.

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