Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a major project for the Long Island Rail Road that will improve service, safety and quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people who live, work and travel on Long Island.

The LIRR Expansion Project is a new proposal, unlike any before it that will improve mass transit, reduce traffic congestion, improve the environment, improve safety, improve local community quality of life and ensure Long Island’s economic health now and for the next century.

The project calls for a completely new approach to the construction of a third track along a 9.8-mile stretch of the railroad’s heavily traversed Main Line corridor between the Floral Park and Hicksville train stations, the elimination of the seven grade crossings along this route, as well as the upgrade of railroad infrastructure, stations and parking in the project area.

It will provide a more attractive alternative to driving and will reduce traffic on Long Island’s already congested roads.

It will reduce train congestion and delays, and enable true bi-directional service during peak hours, as well as more intra-Island service. This will promote job growth and opportunities for Long Islanders and make it easier for Long Islanders to enjoy all the region has to offer, such as entertainment, sporting events, dining and nightlife in New York City.

Unlike previous attempts to build a third track on the Main Line, the project requires ZERO residential property takings, and substantially reduces the need for commercial land acquisition by building the track within the existing LIRR right of way. Construction will be handled in a way to minimize the impact on daily routines, with extensive mitigation efforts being planned in conjunction with local communities.

The end result will be a Long Island with better rail service; with safer, less-congested roads; with cleaner air; with quieter backyards and neighborhoods; and a public transit infrastructure better equipped to serve the job and population growth our region needs to prosper.