Digest: Long Island Rail Road expansion project reaches halfway point

News Wire Digest second section for Oct. 9: SunRail may reach Orlando airport via Brightline tracks; LA Metro announces moves to aid voting
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The Glen Cove Road bridge is rolled into place as part of the Long Island Rail Road's expansion project. The project has reached its halfway point.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority

More Friday morning rail news:

Long Island Rail Road triple-track project reaches midpoint

The Long Island Rail Road Expansion project, adding 10 miles of third track on the LIRR Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville, N.Y., has reached its halfway point ahead of schedule and under budget, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has announced. Grade crossings have been eliminated in four of eight locations that are part of the project, and six of the seven bridges involved have been rebuilt or upgraded. “This project continues to move forward at a remarkable pace and under budget, and is a model for how the MTA can deliver large infrastructure projects better, faster and cheaper,” Janno Lieber, President of MTA Construction & Development, said in a press release. Work on the project began in January 2018 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022. More details on the project are available here.

SunRail could use Brightline tracks to reach Orlando airport
Orlando-area commuter railroad SunRail could eventually begin serving Orlando International Airport — with help from Brightline. WFTV News reports that Brightline is offering to let SunRail share its tracks to the airport and the Disney World area that are coming as part of Brightline’s expansion to Orlando. Seminole County Comissioners indicated their support for a plan to allow Brightline to study the partnership, with commissioner Brenda Carey saying, “I think we should support this … because in order for our SunRail system to be successful, it has to get to the airport.” The proposal could be Brightline’s second involvement with commuter rail service — it is currently in negotiations with Miami-Dade County for commuter operations on the southernmost 15 miles of its Miami-West Palm Beach route [see “Brightline negotiating to operate Miami-Aventura commuter service,” News Wire Digest, May 27, 2020].

LA Metro places ballot drop boxes at stations, will offer free rides on election day
LA Metro, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has placed Vote by Mail drop-off boxes at 19 rail and bus stations throughout LA County to accept ballots through Nov. 3. The agency will also offer free rides on all Metro trains and buses on Election Day, and will have two of its facilities — LA Union Station and El Monte Station — used as official vote centers beginning Oct. 24 for early voting. “We want to make it easy for people to reach the polls or vote by mail and cast their ballot this election,” Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington said in a press release.“Democracy works best when everyone participates in it and has a voice — and we want to ensure that voting is easy and accessible to all those who rely on the Metro system.” A list of the drop-off box locations is available here.
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