LIE Welcome Center Officially Opens

By Jano Tantongco

(Photo courtesy of New York State Department of Transportation.)

(Photo courtesy of New York State Department of Transportation.)

The Long Island Welcome Center in Dix Hills opened last Thursday. It’s the culmination of a hotly contested project over a decade in the making.

The welcome center is located on the eastbound side of the Long Island Expressway between exits 51 and 52.

The 15,200-square-foot facility features the Taste NY Market, which promotes local goods. It will also host an outdoor farmers market on Saturday and Sunday.

“Tourism and agriculture are critical drivers of the Long Island economy and with the new Welcome Center, we are making smart investments to support these industries throughout the region,” Cuomo said.

Holmes said the design of the center, which he called “regionally inspired,” features net buoy decorations on the side of the building and a replica lighthouse.

State officials expect 8,000 people to visit the welcome center each day.

The center also is home to satellite offices for the Suffolk County Police Department and the New York State Police, with 24/7 video monitoring.