FLORAL PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The Long Island Rail Road has started the massive project of building a third track in Nassau County between Floral Park and Hicksville.

Some businesses along the ten mile route say they are already feeling the pain.

Covert Avenue in New Hyde Park is one of seven LIRR crossings on the main line that are being eliminated as a result of the third track project. Construction is underway and about to get a lot worse, when a portion of the road closes completely.

(Credit: CBS2)

“I’m afraid it’s going to affect everybody,” one person told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.

“We worry about the customers,” said another.

That’s because the shopping district is less than half a mile from the tracks. Covert Avenue is home to nearly 60 mom and pop businesses, McLogan reported.

“Even losing one client to a small mom and pop shop can mean a lot,” said Cathy Grasman, who owns Jo-Mar Grooming and Boarding in Floral Park. She and her business colleagues are initiating a campaign before things get desperate. They’re calling it #CovertStrong.

Two longtime establishments recently went out of businesses there.

The LIRR says they’re keeping the community informed of its timetable.

“Do we know long it will be closed?” McLogan asked Floral Park Village Trustee Lynn Pombonyo.

“The plan now is for six months, approximately, beginning in April,” Pombonyo said.

The LIRR spoke with CBS2 by phone, not on camera, saying it will bend over backwards to mitigate effects of the road closure.

Others hope they can weather the storm, and everyone McLogan spoke with wants to make sure first responders will be fine too.

The LIRR says they are working as swiftly as possible to rebuild and reopen a safer roadway under the tracks.

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