Central Islip to get on track

June 15, 2012 by  

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone spoke with excitement at a May 24 gathering of local officials and union leaders, where a July start date for work on the Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) second track project was announced, saying:

“This is a home run for Long Island’s economy. Without question, I think this is the single best investment that we can make in terms of our infrastructure.”

Work on this phase can commence thanks in part to a $138 million dollar increase for the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s 2010-14 Capital Program. The track expansions and improvements are designed to bolster service reliability and performance on the LIRR’s heavily used Ronkonkoma branch which includes stops at Farmingdale, Wyandanch, Deer Park, Brentwood, and Central Islip.

State, county, and LIRR officials estimate another 300 direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs will be added to the Long Island economy during this stage of the second track effort. They also expect to see significant long-term job and economic growth from the infrastructure improvements. For certain businesses relying on being able to receive and ship bulk quantities of supplies and finished goods, such as manufacturers, warehouse distributors, and printing companies, dependable rail service is vital.

Helena Williams, President of LIRR, believes the second track project will encourage housing, retail, and transit development. Williams said:

“I see this as a game-changer for Long Island.”

Construction and redevelopment work from Ronkonkomo to Central Islip has a completion date of September 2012. The remainder of the work, from Central Islip to Farmingdale, should be finished in 2018.