On October 3, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the completion of the Long Island Rail Road’s historic Third Track project on time and under budget. The new 9.8-mile track runs from Floral Park to Hicksville, giving the railroad more operational flexibility to minimize service disruptions and increase service by 41 percent systemwide when Grand Central Madison opens later this year while improving safety and creating true bi-directional LIRR service to fuel the local economy.
“The completion of the historic Third Track project connects commuters with a more resilient and flexible railroad with frequent service, modern stations, ADA accessibility, and more travel opportunities for Long Islanders and visitors,” Governor Hochul said. “I applaud the MTA, local communities, and the hard-working women and men of organized labor who worked together to deliver this transformative project on time and under budget.”
Construction of the Third Track is the centerpiece of the larger $2.5 billion Long Island Rail Road Main Line Expansion Project, which includes the renewal of five LIRR stations along the route (New Hyde Park, MerillonAvenue, Mineola, Carle Place, and Westbury), the elimination of eight at-grade railroad crossings, upgrades at seven railroad bridges, parking expansions, installation of new sound attenuation barriers, and landscaping improvements. With only minor station work left to complete, the project is heading toward the finish line of $100 million under budget almost four years after breaking ground.
Long Island Federation of Labor AFL-CIO President John R. Durso said, “The last several years we have witnessed massive disruption around the world and across this country. Thanks to the steady leadership of Governor Kathy Hochul, the skilled union workforce on Long Island, and cooperation across communities we stand here today with the 3rd track project delivered on time and under budget. Its completion has long been key to unlocking the economic potential of our region. It will yield a brighter future for generations to come, as well as increased and more reliable service for the workers of today. This is a big deal for businesses and workers alike.”
The LIRR Main Line Expansion Project is part of an unprecedented $17.7 billion investment to transform and modernize the Long Island Rail Road. That money is funding more than 100 projects, including the opening of service to Grand Central Madison, construction of a more spacious LIRR Concourse at Penn Station, and a new entrance at 33rd Street. In addition, the project includes upgrading 36 stations and 17 bridges, activation of the Positive Train Control safety system, installation of 13 miles of a second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, upgrades to 15 electrical substations, and much more that will improve transportation on Long Island.
Building & Construction Trades Council of Nassau & Suffolk Counties President Matthew Aracich said, “I applaud the efforts of Governor Kathy Hochul for seeing this project through to the end, and extend my thanks along with 65,000 skilled tradeswomen and tradesmen for her valuable leadership. Building a project of this magnitude was no small feat and without the full commitment and partnership of Governor Hochul, MTA CEO Janno Leiber, and the Building Trades Council it would not be possible. The completion of Third Track demonstrates the enormous value of investing in local union labor while simultaneously reducing the carbon footprint of transportation.”