Cuomo takes credit for LIRR Third Track — as Hochul avoids saying disgraced governor’s name

Ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not letting Kathy Hochul — or voters — forget his role in what she is now claiming as her accomplishment.

Hochul celebrated completion of the long-sought Long Island Rail Road third expansion Monday, which was championed by her disgraced predecessor and benefactor along with the MTA.

Cuomo’s name was not uttered at the “All board” Hochul press conference, but the former three-term Democrat made sure to take a bow right afterwards.

“I thank my team who after literally decades of talk that remained talk because of local and legislative opposition, did the work, got the funding passed, addressed local concerns and got the Third Track off the ground,” Cuomo said in a tweet and a statement released to reporters.

“It was a long and difficult fight, but it was the right one that will benefit current and future generations of Long Islanders.”

Cuomo announced a revised version of the LIRR’s third rail project in 2016.

Ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a statement about the efforts his administration did for the LIRR’s third rail project.

Hochul did give credit to the “past administration” — in which she served as lieutenant governor — but did not utter Cuomo’s name during a ceremonial ribbon cutting in Westbury.

“I understand that this concept of a Third Track actually dates back to a Newsday column in the 1940s,” Hochul said.

Hochul, who is facing off against Long Island Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin in a tougher than expected governor’s race, even credited local GOPers for pushing the project.

The 9.8-mile track runs from Floral Park to Hicksville.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority

“There’s been elected officials. I give credit to the past administration, this started under my predecessor. Also, at the time, Majority Leader John Flanagan was really a driver behind this project. I want to thank him for making sure that the resources were there,” she said, referring to the former state senator from Long Island.

One Cuomo confidante sniffed, “One of these days Hochul is going to run out of Cuomo projects to cut the ribbon on and we’ll see if the government can function.”

But MTA chairman Janno Lieber, who worked with Cuomo, talked up Hochul’s role in getting the project to the finish line.

kathy hochul
Gov. Kathy Hochul celebrated completion of the long-sought Long Island Rail Road third expansion.
YouTube/Governor Kathy Hochul

“You were gracious to acknowledge the folks who worked on this before you became the governor, but let me tell you, Kathy Hochul was here long before she became the governor ….. . You were here. You were on top of this project from very early on.”

The new 9.8-mile track runs from Floral Park to Hicksville, giving the LIRR more flexibility to prevent disruptions and expand service by 41 percent systemwide when the Grand Central Madison stop opens later this year.

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