GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Homeowners who live along the LIRR third track project have something else to rail about tonight.
They say giant power poles towering 100 feet above homes were installed without input from residents or local officials.
“Nobody should have to have these poles in their back or front yard. It’s a disgrace,” said Garden City homeowner Richard Corrao Jr.
“Instead of doing all this in the sunlight, it’s being done in the shadows,” Corrao said.
Underhanded, he says, because the poles for the third track were installed during the coronavirus pandemic when everyone was sheltering inside.
“Now it looks like we’re in the middle of a factory with these towers,” homeowner Thomas O’Brien said. “I’m really disappointed in the Long Island Rail Road. Lack of transparency.”
Tom and Donna O’Brien attended numerous meetings held by the LIRR and MTA on the third track project.
“This is beyond what anyone would support or have agreed to, so I really think they pulled a fast one on our village,” Donna O’Brien said.
The giant utility poles will help power the electrified rail.
The LIRR president said trees and shrubs will be planted.
“The poles are 100 feet tall. I don’t know if trees are going to cover that,” CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan said.
“Well, I understand the poles are tall,” LIRR president Phillip Eng said. “Weather events are getting much more severe as time goes on. It was an issue and design for resiliency and it was also one of safety.”
“I live in a corner house, and if something happened to that pole, it would clearly land on my property,” Garden City homeowner Patricia Webster said.
“I 100% agree with the residents that these, where they’re located directly across the street from houses is a major problem,” state Assemblyman Edward Ra said.
Village officials in Garden City are accusing the LIRR of acting in bad faith, in breach of what was planned, discussed and presented by the MTA.
The LIRR says it will “continue a dialogue” in Garden City.