Ronkonkoma residents weigh in on $2.8B MacArthur Airport development project

Some said they really like certain aspects of the proposal and a lot agreed that something needs to be done to develop the area near the airport.

News 12 Staff

Jul 22, 2022, 2:25 AM

Updated 674 days ago

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Ronkonkoma residents got another chance Thursday night to weigh in on a multibillion-dollar project that would transform MacArthur Airport and the surrounding area.
Some showed signs of support for the Midway Crossing project, an ambitious $2.8 billion proposal to transform the area near the airport.
Some said they really like certain aspects of the proposal and a lot agreed that something needs to be done to develop the area near the airport. Some said, however, the project might be too big, and they're worried that might make traffic unbearable.
The plan would call for a convention center, a hotel, a sports and event space, and a health science complex. It would also move the airport's terminal to connect it directly to the Long Island Rail Road for the first time.
Resident Greg Noone attended the public meeting at the Lakeland Fire House where developers and other experts answered questions. His main concern? Traffic, which he said is a problem right now.
"Traffic is already backed up in a lot of local intersections here in town already. So hopefully they'll keep that in mind," Noone said.
"We're getting community input. We're listening to that," said Richard Zapolski, an engineer who is working on the proposal. He said the design could change depending on what the public has to say.
Residents filled out comment cards and used stickers to show which aspects they liked and what they'd like to see done differently.
"I think there's plenty of opportunities for us to get the right shape, the right size. I think it will be a great investment for our future," said Richard Zapolski, of Cameron Engineering & Associates.
Some residents, however, they believe the project is not for the community.
"It's a very large event space going on that I don't think we necessarily have the need for. The sports thing as well as the convention center. I don't get that," said resident James Gale.
Residents who were unable to make Thursday night's meeting will have one more opportunity. Another open house will happen next month in Holbrook.
The exact date for that meeting has not yet been set.


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