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NY senators back LIRR second track project

LIRR conductor Tim Denehy makes an announcement to

LIRR conductor Tim Denehy makes an announcement to passengers in this file photo. (Dec. 5, 2011) Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine

New York State Sen. Charles J. Fuschillo Jr. has called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to "do everything possible to expedite" a proposed project to construct a second track on the Long Island Rail Road line between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma.

The project is "a critical component of the proposed Republic/Route 110 Corridor HUB project, which would help create additional jobs and economic development for Long Island," said Fuschillo (R-Merrick), chairman of the Senate transportation committee.

Fuschillo made the statement at a committee budget hearing Thursday. He was joined by fellow senators Owen Johnson (R-West Babylon) and Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley).

"While my constituents help fund the MTA, this initiative provides an important return on their investment," Zeldin said.

Joseph Lhota, the MTA's new chairman, said earlier this month that the "single most important thing" that can be done to improve the LIRR is construction of the second track.

The MTA originally planned to begin that project during its current five-year capital plan, which expires in 2014. But funding restraints forced the agency to push it back until at least 2015.

Lhota said he is "committed to making sure it happens."

With Alfonso A. Castillo

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