The Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North commuter rails will receive $2.6 billion in federal funding under the newly passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF) bill, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer announced on Wednesday.
Standing outside the Massapequa Park LIRR station, Schumer detailed plans to upgrade several LIRR stations, including Massapequa Park, St. Albans, and Locust Manor, to be more accessible to those with disabilities with the addition of elevators to the platforms. The federal dollars will also fund changes to the Jamaica station to increase capacity, especially during rush hour.
“Long Island was a focal point for me in both negotiating and passing the bipartisan infrastructure deal because Covid hit us here really, really hard,” Schumer said. “It was and is critical for the LIRR to get its own carve out of federal dollars because the LIRR has its own unique needs.”
Schumer also revealed other transportation projects on Long Island that will be made possible by the BIF, including pavement replacement on the Long Island Expressway, repairs to three bridges on Heckscher State Parkway, and pavement renewal on the Meadowbrook State Parkway.
The infrastructure projects will bring union construction jobs to Long Island, Schumer noted.
“The infrastructure improvements that we’re looking at here on Long Island and in New York State and across the nation are needed incredibly but are also going to be creating job opportunities,” said State Sen. John E. Brooks (D-Seaford) during the news conference. “[Schumer] is delivering to us here on Long Island needed relief, new jobs, better infrastructure, better transportation and a long-term future for this region.”
Long Island’s airports will also receive federal funding for upgrades, including MacArthur, Republic, Francis S. Gabreski, East Hampton, Brookhaven, Elizabeth Field, and Bayport Aerodrome.