Above: A photo taken by Don’s father in approximately 1961 showing the excavation work when the LIRR track was raised in Floral Park
As part of a new series, the 3TC Ambassador Program is introducing “Snapshot,” stories profiling some of the community residents, businesses and stakeholders who live or work adjacent to the LIRR Expansion Project.
Don and Amy Haug are no strangers to Charles Street in Floral Park. As children they called the neighborhood home – they grew up four blocks away from each other, but they would only discover their shared experience decades later when they met, fell in love and married. Their home for the past 29 years is the very house Don’s parents purchased in 1955.
To say the Haugs have a strong connection to the community is an understatement. They actually moved away from Floral Park, in 1981, but returned to Charles Street and Don’s boyhood home a decade later.
“They say you can’t go home again,” said Don. “But I did.”
Keeping Watch on Progress
The Haugs have become seasoned observers of work on the LIRR Expansion Project.
While the Haugs and others in the community have seen short-term impacts related to current construction, Don and Amy recognize the long-term benefits and what it will mean for Floral Park and the entire region.
“I hope what they’re doing helps the commuters,” said Amy. “They’re doing a nice job with the aesthetics of it,” acknowledging her interest in the landscaping that’s core to the LIRR Expansion Project’s community commitment. “In that respect I think they’re doing a good job.”
Open All Hailing Frequencies
The couple shared their appreciation of ongoing efforts to create and sustain an open line of communication between the community and the construction team tasked with finishing the work on time and on budget.
“Yeah, absolutely, they send emails all the time about the updated construction,” Amy said. “Very informed.”
“We can see progress,” Don added. “It’s been a long drink of water…But we are enduring.”
Make no mistake, Don and Amy are eager for the construction to be completed, especially those mandated “beeping” sounds from the trucks backing up. Nevertheless, these longtime residents of Charles Street are supporters of a prospect that will significantly improve the LIRR’s ability to power the region’s economy.
“Listen, it’s the Long Island Rail Road,” said Amy. “It’s part of Long Island. You need it. You’ve got to make it better.”
About the LIRR Expansion Project
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. This transformative work includes several related projects, including the construction of parking garages and accessibility improvements, retaining walls, improvements to rail bridges and the removal of eight street-level grade crossings. Construction is being managed to minimize the impact on daily routines, with extensive mitigation and public outreach efforts in local communities. For more information please visit the LIRR Expansion Project Floral Park to Hicksville project page on AModernLI.com.
To stay informed about the LIRR Expansion Project, make sure to register for updates at – https://lirrexpansion.com/register-for-updates/. If you have an immediate question about the work in your community, please email us at communityoutreach@LIRRExpansion.com or call the project’s 24-hour Hotline at 516.203.4955.