The LIRR Third Track project is officially complete

WESTBURY, NY – Governor Kathy Hochul was on Long Island today to celebrate the completion of the LIRR’s Third Track project. The new 9.8-mile track runs from Floral Park to Hicksville and gives the railroad more flexibility when running trains along the busy corridor.

The Third Track project was completed on time and under budget, Hochul said. When Grand Central Station’s LIRR terminal opens later this year, the third lane will help increase service by 41%.

“The completion of the historic Third Track project connects commuters to a more resilient and flexible railroad with frequent service, modern stations, ADA accessibility and more travel opportunities for Long Islanders and visitors” , said Hochul. “I applaud the MTA, the local communities, and the hard-working women and men of organized labor who worked together to deliver this transformative project on time and on budget.”

The third track is the centerpiece of the $2.5 billion Long Island Rail Road Mainline Expansion Project, which includes the renewal of five LIRR stations along the route (New Hyde Park, Merillon Avenue, Mineola, Carle Place and Westbury), the elimination of eight level crossings, improvements to seven railway bridges, parking expansions, the installation of new noise barriers and landscaping improvements. With only minor work remaining to be completed, the project is expected to be $100 million under budget nearly four years after construction began.

The third lane is physically the southernmost lane of the hub and will provide eastbound service. It opened in three sections, with the first leg opening on August 15 via New Hyde Park and Merillon Avenue and the second through Mineola on August 30. Construction was completed without the need to acquire residential real estate.

“This project is delivered on time and $100 million under budget, thanks to design-build contracts and many other new and innovative project management strategies,” said Janno Lieber, President and CEO of MTA. . “It’s especially incredible that all of this has been accomplished during a global pandemic and without residential property takeovers. It shows that the MTA can deliver on its promise to deliver megaprojects faster, better, and cheaper. And this expansion will be a huge a boon for Long Island businesses, as it will increase access to the region’s talent pool by enabling not only an overall 40% increase in LIRR service, but also a significant increase in the frequency of reverse peak trains. a win-win-win.

The LIRR Mainline Extension Project is part of a much larger $17.7 billion investment to transform and upgrade the Long Island Rail Road. This money funds more than 100 projects, including opening service to Grand Central Madison, building a more spacious LIRR concourse at Penn Station and a new entrance at 33rd Street, renewing and upgrading 36 stations and 17 bridges, activation of the Positive Train Control Safety System, installation of 13 miles of second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, upgrade of 15 electrical substations, increase in parking capacity, expansion of the yard, etc. . Additionally, the MTA, in conjunction with NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak, plans to seek federal funding to rebuild Penn Station into a new single-level terminal.

Chris B. Hall