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LIRR President Williams, Senator Martins Discuss Station Plans

Terminal to undergo renovation project through 2017

Senator Jack M. Martins and Long Island Rail Road President Helena E. Williams met at the Hicksville LIRR station on Tuesday, July 31 and reviewed plans for the improvement of the station that the railroad believes will significantly improve service and customer satisfaction for Long Island commuters.

Martins and Williams both indicated how important the Hicksville LIRR station is to commuters as the busiest station in Nassau County where both the Huntington/Port Jefferson Branch and the Ronkonkoma Branch converge into what the MTA calls the Main Line. 

“I’m glad the LIRR is directing money into improving service for our commuters here in Nassau County. Since Hicksville is a major transportation hub, it stands to reason that an effort be made to improve not only the station itself but also enhance service. I want to thank LIRR President Helena Williams for her efforts in working to improve service and convenience for many who rely on the railroad,” said Senator Martins.

The LIRR has set aside slightly upwards of $106 million, a significant commitment to Hicksville, in capital funds to improve the aesthetic look of the station as well as service and reliability for customers.

“I would like to thank Senator Martins for his support of this project that will transform the LIRR’s Hicksville Station into a renewed and modernized facility,” said Williams, adding, “The improvements planned for Hicksville, totaling more than $106 million, will make for a brighter commute for our customers and we welcome community input as we go forward. The signal and siding improvements at Hicksville will benefit thousands of customers who use this critical transit hub and those that pass through this important junction each day.”

The current elevated station, which was built in 1962, is showing its age and is plagued by poor drainage and cracked concrete as well elevators and escalators that are reaching their life expectancy. Though the street level ticket office was expanded and modernized about a decade ago, the rest of the station complex needs attention.

The LIRR has set aside $55.1 million for the Hicksville Station facelift, which will include new station platforms, platform waiting rooms, canopies, stairways, platform lighting, elevators, escalators and a state-of-the-art audio and digital communications systems.

Another improvement on tap for Hicksville is a $37.7 million project that calls for the installation of more than 3,000 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 a.m. and p.m. peak service between Hicksville and Manhattan when Grand Central Terminal opens to the LIRR with the completion  of the East Side Access project at the end of the decade. It will also improve the railroad’s ability to reroute trains in the event of maintenance, construction or service disruptions.

Finally, the LIRR will spend an additional $13.8 million to 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.

Construction is expected to take place between 2014 and 2016 with signal work being estimated for completion the following year.

News

Dance has a variety of benefits for children. Just like other sports like soccer, tennis or basketball, it promotes good health, emotional and mental stability.

The Dance Place in Hicksville is the brainchild of former dancer, Miana DeLucia. As a child, DeLucia found relief in her local dance studio. She says, “When I was young, my brother was very sick. I used to go to the studio just to get away. There, I found my passion and it became like a second home to me. It was my safe place.”

The community is invited to show off their Comets pride at Hicksville’s Homecoming Fair, which takes place Saturday, Sept. 13, starting at 10 a.m.

The festivities start at 10 a.m. at Hicksville High School’s John A. Walker Soccer Field. A number of fun activities will be featured, including attractions like a giant slide and an obstacle course, plus many game booths courtesy of the individual PTA units and school clubs. Lunch and snack items will be available for purchase.


Sports

At 6 a.m. on a blustery Saturday morning 1,600 people arrived at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park to participate in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge Tobay triathlon and tri- relay race. The participants were from all over Long Island, some from upstate NY, a few from out of state and were all ages and some even with disabilities but all came with one goal in mind, to finish.

The course starts out as a half mile swim in Oyster Bay Harbor, then a 9.3 mile bike ride through Oyster Bay, Laurel Hollow, and Cove neck which is very hilly but finishes with a 2.9 mile downhill to the finish. Then the riders have one more leg of the race which is 3.2 mile run through Mill Neck and Brookville, up to Planting Fields Arboretum and back down to Roosevelt Park to the finish line.

Second year head coach Rob Carroll is encouraged by what he has seen from the Hicksville Comets in the preseason. For this reason, he feels the team is better than their preseason ranking of No. 13.

“Last year was a tough year for us,” he said in regards to their 1-7 season. “But we improved as it went on and played in some very competitive games.”

The team ended a 15-game losing streak last season with a 26-19 victory over Uniondale.  They also were barely edged 20-14 by Hempstead on a last minute score. The rest of the games featured several lopsided scores, which is why Carroll believes the team is being overlooked.


Calendar

BOE Meeting

September 10

HHS Class of 1954 Reunion

September 12, 13

Cruizin’ For A Cure Car Show

September 14



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com