Readers Write: 3rd track work will be done on time. Count on it


We were concerned to read a letter published online on July 7 and headlined, “Readers Write: Don’t count on 3rd track being completed on time.”

Contrary to the writer’s assertions, there has been no delay or slippage in the timetable of the project. Trains will begin running over the new, third track by December 2022, as planned from the outset.

The writer was apparently confused by a reference in another publication that the project was “scheduled for completion in early 2023.”

In building transportation projects, especially large-scale ones, work very often continues after a project enters into public service. That’s the case here.

From the outset, the contractor has been expected to require six additional months after the third track opens to perform wrap up work and check through what are known as “punch-list items” – smaller finishes not initially needed for the start of improved train service.

Further, the writer attempts to cast further doubt on the project by stating, “Only 10 of the 50 project components will be initiated over the coming 18 months.” (Emphasis added.)

As is common practice, we are intentionally sequencing the project elements so that power, track, stations and roads in a given locality are not impacted at the same time.

For example, we are not closing Covert Avenue, S. 12th Street and New Hyde Park Road at the same time, because doing so would create a traffic nightmare for New Hyde Park. This, too, is a routine part of transportation megaproject planning and implementation.

To be crystal clear: There has been no change to the LIRR’s Main Line Third Track construction timeline.  It is unfortunate that the letter writer hadn’t inquired with us before making this important assertion; if he had, this misunderstanding could have been avoided.

Janno Lieber

MTA Chief Development Officer

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