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Long Island Rail Road's $2.6 billion Third Track project is complete

Kevin P. Coughlin
Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

New York Governor Kathy Hochul and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority declared the Long Island Rail Road’s major Third Track project complete. They said the project was completed on time and $100 million under budget.

The four-year rebuild involved replacing seven bridges, eliminating eight street crossings, five station renewals, and adding a third 10-mile section of track between Floral Park and Hicksville. The goal was to allow more trains going both directions at the same time.

“We're going to see a 40% increase in LIRR service," Hochul said. "You'll save commuters heading into East Midtown up to 40 minutes a day.”

The Third Track project faced opposition and lawsuits from neighbors who complained about loud construction and intrusive utility poles.

Janno Liebe, MTA chair and CEO, said the project will make public transit more appealing.

“Reverse commuting, that's huge for the Long Island economy because now you really can draw on the full talent pool of the entire region,” said Lieber.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.