MTA Approves LIRR Third Track Project, Despite Cost Concerns


WNYC

The MTA board approved funding on Wednesday for a $2.6 billion project known as The Third Track Project on the Long Island Railroad. The project has been discussed for over 40 years, and costs have already gone up from estimates last year of up to $1.5 billion, to $2.6 billion now.

Many MTA board members voiced concerns about embarking on another large, costly project, while East Side Access and other big projects remain unfinished.

“We are in an economic red zone that is challenging our ability to keep what we already have in a state of good repair,” board member Andrew Saul said at Wednesday’s MTA board meeting. “We’d be wise to expand the system very, very carefully right now.”

Saul voted to approve The Third Track Project.

“I just hope we do a hell of a lot better job managing this one as we did with East Side Access and the Second Avenue Subway,” Saul said.

Construction is expected to begin next year, with a completion date of 2022.

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