New York governor Andrew M. Cuomo has unveiled $5.6bn project to transform the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to strengthen the city’s transportation infrastructure.
Part of the New York's $100bn infrastructure programme, the transformation of LIRR will also help the region to usher in a new era of economic growth.
As per the plans, nearly $2bn will be invested on LIRR Expansion project that will add a 9.8-mile third track to the route's Main Line from Floral Park to Hicksville. Nearly $387.2m will be spent on building 12.6-mile double track expansion on the Ronkonokoma branch.
Furthermore, $128m will be invested to build Mid-Suffolk storage yard in Ronkonkoma, 11 more tracks and a 28,000 sq ft foot LIRR Command facility.
As part of a $375m project, New York is reconstructing Jamaica Station, which manages nearly all LIRR trains, including higher speed switches and new signals, and a new platform to streamline operations and increase service capacity to Atlantic, Penn and Grand Central.
Plans also includes fortification of 12 bridges along the LIRR routes, upgrading 13 electric power stations, construction of a new Hudson Tunnel between New York and New Jersey, as well as updating existing tunnels, development of the new Penn-Farley complex that will include access to trains without entering Penn Station and upgrading 39 stations across the LIRR system.
Cuomo said: “The LIRR is the backbone of the region's economy, and the strength and resiliency of Long Island requires bold, transformative investments to bolster our transportation network.”
New York is entering into memoranda of understanding with communities on the Main Line Third Track that seeks to invite input on project design, including aesthetic design of certain project elements, including sound walls, consideration for traffic and parking, utilities, drainage, pest and dust control, transit-oriented development, construction schedule and duration and community safety and quality of life.