NEW YORK (WPIX)—For those who battle traffic on the Long Island Expressway you know just how frustrating it can be. However, good news is on the horizon and apparently it's coming fast.
Federal stimulus dollars are being used right now, that could reduce traffic on the LIE this year. A rail line that was used decades ago to transport goods to Grumman, is about to be over and hauled as a freight line.
"The more traffic we can take off and put on the rail the safer the LIE will be," said Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter.
Once rehabilitated, this rail line can be used as a cheaper way to get goods out East.
New York Atlantic Railway has a contract to use the track. It says each rail car can carry the equivalent of what 4 tractor trailers can carry, and a train can easily pull 25 cars at a time.
Do the math and each train trip could eliminate 118 wheelers on the LIE in both directions.
AAA says that would make an "appreciable difference" on the expressway and could have a ripple effect on getting more freight lines moving.
Work is expected to begin in the next couple of weeks and the hope is to get trains running on the track again by the fall.
"The town worked on the rails I guess back in maybe early 2000 or 200. We were trying to get the rail but nobody had the money until layout for the amount of track we need to lay out so the money is here," said Walter, adding businesses are chomping at the bit to use the freight service which is seen as an economic boom not only for riverhead but the entire East End.