Off the Walls! 18,000 Feet and Counting…

Off the Wall - EXP Sound Walls 12-23-19

What do concrete walls have to do with running railroad service?

It means we’re fulfilling our commitment to being good neighbors, that’s what.

So far, as part of the LIRR Expansion Project, we’ve installed nearly 18,000 linear feet of these walls along parts of the 9.8-mile project corridor.

But what do these walls do?

Off the Wall - EXP Sound Walls 12-23-19

You may be surprised to learn not all retaining and sound walls are alike. Some sound walls have steel posts, while some have concrete posts; some are ground-mounted, some aren’t. All the walls in the project corridor are customized, depending on geological considerations and community needs. By the conclusion of the project, in 2022, nearly 7.5 miles of walls will have been installed throughout the corridor. Why is this work so important? Retaining walls allow additional track to be placed within the LIRR right-of-way without acquiring residential property while supporting placement of track in rail segments below grade. Sound walls, of course, enhance quality-of-life for businesses and residents throughout the corridor by reducing the noise created by rail traffic.

Since sound and retaining walls are noticeable project components, community input was an integral component of the retaining and sound wall design process. The project team incorporated community members’ feedback regarding architectural finishes to ensure aesthetic compatibility with neighborhood character. Yet one more way the MTA is helping to modernize Long Island.

About the LIRR Expansion Project

The construction of a third track from Floral Park to Hicksville will reduce train congestion and delays and enable true bi-directional service during peak hours with a more reliable rail network. This transformative work includes several related projects, including the construction of parking garages, retaining walls, improvements to rail bridges and the removal of eight street-level grade crossings. Construction is being managed to minimize the impact on daily routines, with extensive mitigation and public outreach efforts in local communities. For more information please visit the LIRR Expansion Project Floral Park to Hicksville project page on