Schumer: Let's get Lighthouse 'up and running'

Lighthouse developers make a presentation to the Long

Lighthouse developers make a presentation to the Long Island Planning Council. This is part of the Lighthouse slideshow presentation given at meeting. (Credit: Photo by Patrick E. McCarthy)

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Sen. Charles Schumer Monday announced his total support for Charles Wang's Lighthouse project, saying Long Island needs this to make it a destination and to keep young people on the Island.

Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he will seek federal transportation funds to improve the roadways around the site, including road widening and reconfiguring parkway exit ramps to ease traffic congestion.

"I have met them at the Lighthouse," Schumer said at a news conference outside the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, referencing the trademark song advertising the proposed $4-billion mixed-use development project. He said he'll do everything he can at the federal level to "see this project gets up and running and is completed as soon as possible. The Lighthouse project is the economic future of Nassau County."

He added that the Wang's New York Islanders need a new home, especially with their new NHL draft pick: John Tavares.

"I'm really excited," Schumer said. "I have high hopes for this new hip downtown to attract young people. We need the Lighthouse to shine through the economic storm looming over Nassau County and the entire country."

He seconded what Wang and partner Scott Rechler of RXR Corp. have been saying for months: "We need to get the Lighthouse done. It's a win win win for Nassau County."

The federal funds would come from a $400-billion pot of money which is set aside for transportation and infrastructure projects every five years.

Improvements around the Coliseum would include upgrading highways, intersection improvements, new turning lanes, widening of Charles Lindburgh Boulevard and improvement of the county bus service to make it easy for people to go from train stations to the site.

"If it's going to be a destination, people are going to have to be able to get here," said County Executive Thomas Suozzi, a proponent of the project who pushed for the federal transportation funds and joined Schumer at the Coliseum.

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