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New York Senate Republicans OK $1.9B In Funding For 3rd LIRR Track

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Republicans in the GOP-controlled state Senate are backing a $1.9 billion plan to build a third track for the Long Island Rail Road in Nassau County.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan of Suffolk County announced Tuesday that Republican senators have agreed to public funding for a nearly 10-mile third track corridor from Floral Park to Hicksville, Newsday reported.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement, "After decades of delay we took action to fundamentally change the economy on Long Island and secure its future prosperity."

The move comes after opponents in New Hyde Park and Floral Park reached an agreement on quality-of-life issues with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the LIRR.

Third track supporters said its benefits will include allowing the commuter rail service to run more trains in both directions between Manhattan and Nassau and Suffolk counties.

"The third track is the biggest infrastructure project to get approved for Long Island in more than five decades," Kevin Law, president of the Long Island Association, told WCBS 880's Sophia Hall. "Anything that we can do to make it easier for people to get to and from New York City strengthens Long Island's economy."

"This is going to be a game changer for Long Island," Law said.

The Senate GOP's announcement came a day after Amtrak started extensive repairs at Penn Station in an effort to improve aging infrastructure blamed for major service interruptions.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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