To be claimed
Type: bill Chamber: lower
Type: bill Chamber: lower
Type: bill Chamber: lower
Former Member, Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee, New York State Assembly
Former Member, Labor Committee, New York State Assembly
Member, Codes Committee
Member, Ethics and Guidance Committee
Member, Judiciary Committee
Member, Oversight, Analysis and Investigation Committee
Member, Ways and Means Committee
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Urban Avenue in New Cassel reopened to traffic on time this morning. The roadway is the first of eight Long Island Rail Road grade crossings to be completely eliminated through the LIRR Expansion Project. Most of the crossings are being transformed into underpasses, which enhance railroad safety, improve traffic flow in communities of Nassau County, and reduce localized nuisances from horns and bells. "The LIRR is the backbone of the region's economy and we are modernizing it to create a more reliable service for passengers - with their convenience and safety as top priorities," Governor Cuomo said. "The grade crossing that was eliminated and replaced with this newly opened roadway is part of a plan to eliminate all dangerous crossings and proceed with our nation-leading investments to give New Yorkers a 21st century transportation infrastructure." The Urban Avenue crossing had been closed to traffic on March 8. The new bridge was put into place during the weekend of July 20-21 using an approach called "box-jacking" that reduces the length of time the tracks must be taken out of service to just one weekend. Under this approach, workers built a 140-ton concrete structure onsite that includes the rail bridge, the 40 feet of roadway beneath the bridge, and the side walls connecting roadway below with rail bridge above. They then used powerful hydraulic jacks to inch the structure into place over the course of one weekend. MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber said, "It's a pleasure to reopen this roadway according to the expedited timeframe we've set for this project. This approach to grade crossing eliminations exemplifies our approach to the entire LIRR Expansion Project. We're doing it smarter, faster, within budget, and with unprecedented community outreach and input." LIRR President Phil Eng said, "This project will lead to a safer and more reliable operation for the LIRR. It reinforces everything we are doing through the LIRR Forward plan to improve safety, reduce risk, improve train operations, and reduce the potential for events beyond our control that cause train delays or cancellations." Senator Anna M. Kaplan said, "This project has been a win-win-win, simultaneously increasing capacity for the Long Island Rail Road, improving public safety, and reducing local traffic. Most importantly, by completing this project on time, on budget, with limited disruption, and with significant community outreach, it shows that the MTA is committed to finding new, innovative solutions to yesterday's problems. I applaud the hard working men and women who worked tirelessly on this great achievement, and I thank Governor Cuomo for setting an ambition agenda to improve the MTA and modernize the Long Island Rail Road." Assembly Member Michael A. Montesano said, "I was pleased to attend the ribbon cutting event for the completion of the overpass bridge at Urban Avenue in New Cassel. This project was completed on time and will be a terrific enhancement to a well-deserved community in delivering a more dependable operation by the LIRR as well as improve commuter safety, train delays and noise." Assembly Member Charles D. Lavine said, "The opening of the new roadway underpass at Urban Avenue in New Cassel is a prime example of the Long Island Rail Road's commitment to safety and reliability. Not only does the new underpass contribute to the improvement of train operations, but it also reduces the risks of track crossing related incidents. I commend Phil Eng and the entire team at the Long Island Rail Road for their dedication to ensuring an improved experience for my constituents." Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, "The reopening of Urban Avenue in New Cassel marks the completion of the first of five LIRR grade crossings to be upgraded to an underpass, improving pedestrian safety while bettering the flow of traffic. I look forward to its completion, which will truly improve transportation, infrastructure and safety in Nassau County." City Council Member Viviana Russell, who is a resident of New Cassel that lives in close proximity to Urban Avenue and has been closely involved with this project from the onset, said, "Residents here in the New Cassel community have been very patient and are pleased to see this project completed in a relatively short period of time considering the amount of work that was done. Although we have had many bumps in the road because of the very nature of this design-build project and the fact that Urban Avenue was the first grade elimination to be completed, it will greatly improve the quality of life for all those that are impacted by the railroad. Thank you to the Town of North Hempstead Department of Public Works Engineer Victor Thomas, all of the North Hempstead staff and all of the many women and men of the LIRR/MTA/3TC and laborers that make up the teams that got this project done." County Legislator Siela A. Bynoe said, "This significant investment in New Cassel's infrastructure will make our roads safer, improve traffic flow along Urban Avenue by decreasing delays, and eliminate the air and noise pollution created by a grade crossing. Moreover with the Third Track and improved mass transit service on the horizon, I commend the MTA for their ongoing commitment to the communities they serve and am glad that Urban Avenue is once again open for motorists." North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jodi Bosworth said, "Street level grade crossings should be a thing of the past in a busy suburban area like Nassau County, especially in light of the many tragedies that have occurred at such crossings. This new grade crossing will be life changing for the entire community as it increases safety and traffic flow. I am very pleased that the MTA was able to finish this complex project in a timely manner and minimize the inconvenience for both commuters and residents in the area." Workers at Urban Avenue excavated 2,700 cubic yards of material to dig the underpass to a depth of 22 feet. Eliminating railroad crossings improves safety. In the decade prior to the start of the LIRR Expansion Project in 2017, six fatal accidents took place at the crossings along the busy Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville. This location will now enjoy reduced noise emanating from horns that are required to sound in the approach to a crossing, and the bells that sound as crossing gates come down to block roadway traffic. Along the busy LIRR Main Line, crossing gates during rush hour are in the down position up to 35 percent of the time during, creating traffic backups and increasing exhaust from vehicles. The other railroad crossings that are being replaced by underpasses as part of the LIRR Expansion Project are at Covert Avenue in New Hyde Park, which closed in April and is slated to reopen this fall, New Hyde Park Road in New Hyde Park, School Street in New Cassel and two at Willis Avenue in Mineola. The LIRR Expansion Project is a concerted investment in the LIRR's Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville that will include laying a new third track along the 9.8 mile corridor, eliminating eight grade crossings, replacing seven bridges and seven electrical substations, improving five stations, building 7.5 miles of retaining walls, and expanding parking capacity. The construction of a third track from Floral Park to Hicksville will reduce train congestion and delays and enable true bi-directional service during peak hours with a more reliable rail network. The projects form a significant share of the 100 projects being undertaken systemwide as part of Governor Cuomo's $6 billion investment to modernize and transform the LIRR. The LIRR Expansion Project is a $2.6 billion design-build project due for completion in 2022, and being completed with unprecedented levels of community outreach and input.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the deployment of materials to create a new marine habitat at the Matinecock Reef. This deployment of materials is part of the second year of the state's artificial reef initiative to increase fishing and recreational opportunities, develop a stronger, more diverse marine ecosystem and provide shelter for fish and other marine life off New York's shores. The Matinecock Reef is a 41-acre site located in the Long Island Sound, 0.5 nautical miles north of Peacock Point in Nassau County. Recycled materials deployed today include seven 20-foot steel pontoons and one 46-foot scow to create a new marine habitat. "New York's artificial reef program has quickly become a national model -bringing morefish for anglers to catch and more recreational opportunities to explore marine life," Governor Cuomo said. "The deployment of these materials at Matinecock Reef will be a boon for tourism and generate even more economic growth on Long Island." "We are leading the nation in our efforts to protect the environment and combat climate change in New York," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The expansion of artificial reefs provide for new marine habitats and continue to grow the economy of Long Island. We are committed to building a cleaner and greener economy and environment for future success." The Matinecock Reef was undeveloped prior to today's deployment. Materials deployed today to begin development of the reef were provided by the New York Power Authority and the New York State Canal Corporation. Additional reef deployments are scheduled this year to improve New York's diverse marine life and boost Long Island's recreational and sport fishing and diving industries. Today's deployment adds to Governor Cuomo's Artificial Reef Initiative, an unprecedented effort launched in 2018 that is deploying large volumes of cleaned, recycled materials from state agencies onto reef sites, including old Tappan Zee Bridge materials; out-of-use Canal vessels; retired Canal lock miter gates and lift bridge; two retired NYPA turbines and a taintor gate; steel trusses, pipes and rock; and parts of the City Island Bridge. Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo launched the second year of the program and deployed recycled materials at Fire Island Reef from the Staten Island Expressway; Kew Gardens and Kosciuszko bridges; the Canal system; and the retired U.S. Army Corps of Engineers steel vessel M/V HUDSON, to create a new marine habitat. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Artificial Reef Program, which manages the state's 12 artificial reefs (two reefs in Long Island Sound, two in the Great South Bay and eight in the Atlantic Ocean) also deployed a pier, bridge support concrete and concrete barriers from the decommissioned Mill Basin Drawbridge to Hempstead reef in January and February 2019. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Governor Cuomo's work to expand New York's network of artificial reefs benefits Long Island's coastal communities, anglers, divers, and our overall environment. The reef program provides a creative re-use of materials and is a great example of state agency partners working together with a common goal--to boost local economies while providing environmental incentives for our marine fisheries." Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA President and CEO, said, "The Governor's artificial reef initiative will improve the marine environment, strengthen the local economy and expand fishing and recreational tourism opportunities along the Long Island coastline. We, at NYPA, are pleased to participate and see that our out-of-use equipment has a resting place that will benefit New Yorkers, and visitors alike, for decades to come." Brian Stratton, New York State Canal Corporation Director, said, "New York's waterways and coastlines attract visitors from all over the world. The Canal Corporation is devoted to expanding economic opportunities along our waterways and attracting more visitors, including recreational fishing enthusiasts, to enjoy the beauty and bounty of our great state. By participating in the Governor's reefing program, our out-of-use Canal assets are contributing to the economic vitality of our coastline communities and the environmental stewardship of our marine habitats." Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "For more than six decades, the iconic Tappan Zee Bridge served motorists from the lower Hudson Valley and beyond and under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, its legacy will live on for many years to come. Together, the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and old Tappan Zee Bridge will continue to drive economic growth to the benefit of all New Yorkers." Senator Jim Gaughran said, "Bolstering our marine habitats through artificial reefs is an innovative way to help restore aquatic life and support our marine environment. I applaud Governor Cuomo for leading the nation in protecting our environment and thank him for prioritizing our water, land, and air at a time when the federal government is rolling back climate safety regulations in a dangerous and pervasive manner." Assembly Member Michael Montesano said, "I'm thrilled to see more movement with the artificial reef initiative. Not only does it help provide a stronger ecosystem for the marine life in the Long Island Sound, it also increases recreational opportunities in the area. It's great to see construction materials, which might otherwise take up space at a landfill somewhere, being used for something more positive. I'm happy the governor is supporting such a great project and hope he continues to see it through so that theMatinecock Reef, and other areas of the Long Island Sound, can continue to flourish." Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, "Governor Cuomo's artificial reef initiative reinforces his commitment to preserving and protecting Long Island's environment. The recent introduction of materials at Matinecock will provide another location for marine life to thrive, and will also give new opportunities to our anglers and divers. Once again New York is leading the way." Monitoring surveys conducted by DEC's artificial reef program have documented an increase in angler activity on the reef sites since the Reef Initiative started in 2018. A survey completed in August 2018 documented an all-time high vessel count on the reef sites of 369 vessels in a single day, nearly twice the prior daily high vessel count. In addition, an increased number of divers have been visiting the artificial reefs exploring newly added retired Canal Corporation vessels and Tappan Zee Bridge materials. Construction of New York's first artificial reef dates back to 1949, and this latest initiative marks the State's first coordinated effort to stimulate the full environmental and economic benefits of artificial reefs. Materials used for the reef expansion are being strategically placed and built out of hard, durable structures such as rock, concrete and steel pipes, and usually in the form of surplus or scrap materials that are cleaned of contaminants to mitigate potential impacts to sea life before being recycled on the reef sites. Once materials and vessels settle to the sea floor, larger fish, such as blackfish, black seabass, cod and summer flounder, move in to build habitats within the new structures, and encrusting organisms such as barnacles, sponges, anemones, corals and mussels cling to and cover the material. Over time, these recycled structures will create a habitat similar to a natural reef. New York's marine resources are critical to the state's economy, supporting nearly 350,000 jobs and generating billions of dollars through tourism, fishing and other industries. More than 500,000 anglers in the region will reap the benefits of this initiative, supporting the region's growing marine economy which accounts for approximately 9.7 percent of Long Island's total GDP. New York's artificial reef program is just one example of the Governor's commitment to restoring marine ecosystems and economy. Coupled with the largest offshore wind agreement, record investments in the Environmental Protection Fund and Clean Water Infrastructure Act, a ban on offshore drilling, passage of the 'bunker bill' to prohibit the use of purse seines to protect this keystone species, continued progress on the Long Island Shellfish Restoration initiative, and many other programs to protect and improve water quality, the Governor's efforts are realizing a cleaner and healthier marine environment for all New Yorkers. Artificial reef construction is part of Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. Visit DEC's website for more information about the artificial reef program.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the final design for a new Long Island Rail Road station in Hicksville. The project is a $120 million investment meant to revitalize the region's busiest transit hub and kick-start residential and commercial development in the hamlet's downtown. "By renovating the Hicksville station, we're moving ahead with much-needed upgrades at one of the LIRR's busiest outlets and breathing new economic life into the community," Governor Cuomo said. "This rehabilitation is designed to fundamentally improve riders' experiences at Hicksville while also setting the stage for expanded service through the East Side Access project, and I am pleased to see it moving forward." At a community meeting last week, LIRR officials showed local residents and civic leaders the architectural renderings of a project that promises to transform the deteriorating train station, built in 1961, into a bright and modern commuter-friendly facility. Hicksville Station is the LIRR's busiest line station with 22,000 customer trips per weekday. Both Ronkonkoma Branch trains and Port Jefferson Branch trains pass through Hicksville every day as do selected Montauk Branch trains. The station is also served by major NICE commuter bus routes running north and south on Route 106 and Route 107. The station rehabilitation is forecast to cost $68.7 million. The MTA will invest another $52.3 million for a less visible but equally important part of the project - the construction of the Hicksville North Track Siding, an additional track along the existing railroad right-of way that will support the LIRR's plans for faster and more frequent service when its East Side Access Project is completed in 2022. East Side Access will carry LIRR riders into Grand Central Terminal on the East Side of Manhattan for the first time. Senator Jack M. Martins said: "This is a tremendous investment that will benefit both the Hicksville community and Long Island as a whole. The Hicksville station is a transit hub that serves millions of riders each year. Overhauling and upgrading the infrastructure at Long Island's busiest train station will improve service, create jobs, and enhance the quality of life for commuters. I'm pleased to see this important project moving forward." Assemblyman Michael Montesano said: "I am thrilled that the Long Island Rail Road station in Hicksville will finally receive the renovations that it has desperately needed for many years. This comprehensive project will greatly enhance services for all travelers -- daily commuters and visitors alike. From its new modern design to its state-of-the-art technology, the station will be transformed into a more safe and efficient stop on the LIRR line. I thank the MTA and the LIRR for working together on this project and look forward to all the benefits its completion will bring to our community." MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said: "The LIRR's Hicksville revitalization project is a prime example of how the MTA uses its Capital Plan to benefit the people and the communities that it services. In the short term, construction means jobs. Long term, Hicksville will have a station to be proud of, improved train service and the prospect of new development that could offer property tax relief for current homeowners." LIRR President Patrick A. Nowakowski noted that the agency will work closely with the Town of Oyster Bay to accommodate weekend work that is necessary to carry out the construction. Construction is not expected to impact weekday service. The Long Island Rail Road reached Hicksville on March 1, 1837 and the current station, now more than 50 years old, is plagued by poor drainage and cracked concrete as well as elevators and escalators that are nearing the end of their useful lives. Hicksville Station Project Overview: $68.7 Million The LIRR's plan calls for construction completion in 2019 with a design that will almost completely recast the station with new platforms, new fully -- heated, glass-enclosed platform waiting rooms, new lighting, new translucent canopy roof, new stairways, elevators and escalators, a new video security system, audio and digital communications systems and new signage. It also includes a new street-level plaza and entrance to the waiting room/ticket office. MTA Arts & Design plans to enhance the station with an artist designed ceramic mosaic murals and laminated art glass. Hicksville North Track Siding Project: $52.3 Million This project includes the installation of over three thousand feet of new track, power and signal work. This effort will connect Track 1 at Hicksville to an existing track siding situated about one-half mile west of the station platform. The connection will enable the LIRR to add three trains to the AM and PM Peak service between Hicksville and Manhattan when Grand Central Terminal opens to the LIRR with the completion of the East Side Access project in 2022. It will also improve the Railroad's ability to reroute trains in the event of maintenance, construction or service disruptions. Finally, the LIRR will modernize the signal system at Divide Tower, located just east of Hicksville Station. Divide controls all train movement on the Huntington/Port Jefferson and the Ronkonkoma Branches east of Hicksville The design for the Hicksville Station revitalization was done by AECOM, a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environment, energy, water and government.
Wed 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM EDT
W End Ave, Oyster Bay, NY 11771, United States