The state won't have to acquire any houses to complete a third set of rails on the Long Island Rail Road's main line, Gov. Cuomo announced.
Cuomo said Tuesday at a Long Island Association meeting in Millville that the MTA will be able to build the additional track on the line between Floral Park and Hicksville without taking any Long Islander's homes.
Initial plans for the 9.8 mile stretch called for the state to take all or part of 20 homes and 30 commercial properties along the span to make room for the track. It's unclear how many commercial properties will still need to be acquired.
"My administration is fully committed to mitigating the project’s impact on surrounding communities and improving safety overall," Cuomo said. "The project will move forward on the existing right of way – so that zero homes must be acquired – and we will work hand-in-hand with local communities to ensure safe, redesigned grade crossings. I’m proud to see this project moving forward, and I thank our local partners for their support.”
The third rail project is aimed at increasing the number of trains that can run during peak times. Currently, trains only run in one direction between Floral Park and Hicksville during peak hours, shutting out commuters who leave New York City every day for jobs on Long Island, or for commuters out east who rely on the train to travel between towns.
The governor's office said that the third rail will allow the LIRR to run "reverse-peak" trains that would allow commuters to use the train to get to Long Island during business hours.