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The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has scheduled a hearing on MTA Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) request to modify four public grade crossings in the town of Islip.LIRR is proposing that new crossings be installed about 14 feet from existing ones to accommodate a second rail track under construction, NYSDOT officials said in a press release. Additional modifications may involve gates, pavement surface, traffic signals, curbing and sidewalks.The Feb. 10 hearing is aimed at establishing a record to determine whether the modifications are in the public interest.The department will hold an additional hearing that day regarding LIRR's proposal to close a private grade crossing located in Smithtown. The railroad maintains automated gates and flashers at the crossing, which is no longer used.Crossing safety continues to be an important matter of concern for railroads across the country. To learn more about how they're tackling the issue, read Progressive Railroading's annual grade crossing feature in the January issue.