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OpinionColumnistsRandi Marshall

John Flanagan gets the all-clear on third track

Now it all comes down to one person, and he knows what the best choice is here.

Passengers watch the LIRR departures board in Penn

Passengers watch the LIRR departures board in Penn Station, Thursday, June 29, 2017. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

It seems all of the local concerns have been satisfied.

It’s time for the Long Island Rail Road’s third-track project to — finally — get the go-ahead.

Just in time.

The last two mayors to maintain objections to the plan — Floral Park’s Dominick Longobardi and New Hyde Park’s Lawrence Montreuil — confirmed Friday that they’ve resolved all outstanding issues. They are signing memorandums of understanding with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, after receiving additional concessions and improvements for their villages, and assurances regarding how construction will affect their communities. That means they’ll no longer stand in the way of the third track — a $1.95 billion infrastructure project critical to Long Island’s future.

Since they’re giving their OKs, State Sen. Elaine Phillips of Flower Hill should have nothing more to be concerned about. The “unanswered questions” from the mayors that she cited are answered.

If Phillips is on board, then so to should Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, who has refused to take a position on the third track, and said he wanted every Republican senator in the Long Island delegation to go along with the third-track proposal.

Now, there are none vocalizing any opposition.

State Sen. Martin Golden of Brooklyn has until midnight Friday to register a veto that would stop the project, which includes adding a 9.8-mile track between Hicksville and Floral Park and significant of improvements for commuters and residents, including upgraded stations, parking garages, sound barriers and grade-crossing eliminations. Golden is part of the MTA’s review board for capital projects. A veto by any review board member before midnight Friday night would kill the project.

Golden says he will do whatever Flanagan tells him to do.

Now it all comes down to one person, and he knows what the best choice is here.

Make the call, Sen. Flanagan. No one else is saying no. It’s time — finally — to say yes.

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