LIRR Double Track Project - Fact Sheet
- The LIRR is spending $430 million dollars to add a second track over an 18-mile stretch of track from Ronkonkoma to Farmingdale. The second track will significantly increase the number of trains that will run on the Ronkonkoma line, already one of the busiest lines in the LIRR system.
- Increased rail traffic will result in an increase in the number of times crossing gates close at 20 railroad crossings in Western Suffolk (see sidebar). Although the gates will be down more frequently, the LIRR conducted its own study and assures drivers that the project will not result in adding "significant volumes of new vehicles to the roadway network near rail stations." WhIle this project may not add NEW vehicles, the LIRR fails to address how much longer EXISTING vehicles will be made to wait at these crossings, thus jamming up the interserctions longer and more extensively.
- The LIRR's study fails to take into account the NEW VEHICLES that will be added to the roads when construction is completed at the Ronkonkoma Hub, Islip Pines, Wyandanch Rising, Knoll Farm, Heartland Town Square, Bartone Plaza, and the other Farmingdale-area projects. It also fails to take into account that the additional riders who will use this line will add NEW VEHICLES to the roads as they enter and exit the stations.
- The LIRR says that elevating some of the roads at these crossings will ease congestion, but says that would be the state's responsibility. It would cost the taxpayers $100 million to elevate one crossing and would most likely involve securing private property.
- The LIRR says that this project will look "much the same as it does presently," but fails to acknowledge the residents whose homes will now face LIRR retaining walls.
- Despite the addition of extra commuter and freight trains on this line and the knowledge that this will increase noise and vibration on this 18-mile stretch, the LIRR's OWN STUDY states that the increased noise will be imperceptible by most residents.
- The addition of commuter trains will decrease the amount of available parking at LIRR stations. Currently the affected stations are at about 99 percent parking capacity; it is anticipated that they will be operating at 102 percent capacity upon completion of this project.
- Despite the magnitude of this project and all of the work that will be involved, the LIRR's OWN STUDY indicates there will be "no significant environmental impacts."
- Local civic groups and legislators are not calling for a stop to this project. They are asking for a more comprehensive study and review to be conducted by representatives from all involved parties, not just the LIRR - the one organization who stands to make a profit from the completion of this project.