MTA C&D’s LIRR Expansion Project has moved along on schedule and on budget, despite all the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s been obvious from the undergrade crossing completions, bridge replacements and expansions and ongoing work on interlockings, station enhancements and installation of new substations. The continuing work of the project’s Community Outreach Team is no exception.
Although the pandemic has made face-to-face group meetings limited, the outreach team is still responding to every inquiry received by phone and by email. The outreach team’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program has also gone virtual and their efforts have been appreciated by all the students who participate.
One recent example is the Cradle of Aviation Museum Annual STEM Career Expo. Dan Marcy, Deputy Outreach Manager of the LIRR Expansion Project, introduced the students to the massive scope of the LIRR Expansion Project, and its benefits, including eliminating grade crossings, upgrading stations and improving the LIRR’s reliability. Ten field and office staff working on the project explained via video the roles they play to keep the project moving along on time and on budget.
Another example was the Dryden Street in Westbury. To celebrate the opening of the School Street underpass in New Cassel, the project team delivered a virtual, interactive presentation to about 220 pre-K and kindergarten students at Dryden Street School.
School Principal Gloria P. Dingwall sent a letter thanking the team for their efforts. According to Dingwall: “Due to the curiosity your enthusiastic presentation aroused, I brought in two toy train sets that the custodian is setting up in the gym. We will schedule classes to visit our mini train exhibit so that the children can see how the trains move along a track.”
The outreach team continues to work hard to keep all the communities along the LIRR Expansion Project from Floral Park to Hicksville informed, as the project proceeds on time and on budget.