‘Double Track’ to ease pressure on lines
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The second track will be added in two phases, and will not expand beyond land already owned by the LIRR, so there will be no need to acquire private property. Phase 1, the segment between Ronkonkoma and Central Islip, is projected to be completed in 2016, and is fully funded. Phase 2, the segment between Central Islip and Farmingdale, is projected to be finished in 2018. An estimated 300 construction jobs will be created by this project. Phase 2, which is unfunded at this point, will cost about $300 million.
Another expected benefit will be an improvement in the reverse commute, west to east, and intra-Island transportation, easing access to MacArthur airport. And a reopening of the station at Republic Airport is also in the works. Reopening the Republic station would cost an additional $50 million.
Other enhancements on track
Several other topics were raised in discussions the Herald had with Williams last week.
As part of the East Side Access Plan, service between Queens and Brooklyn will improve — the trip from the Jamaica station to the Atlantic Terminal will take 7½ minutes on a new direct shuttle.