LIRR Third Track work to close some roads in August

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(Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Construction on the LIRR’s third track from Floral Park to Hicksville will result in road closures in Floral Park, Mineola and New Hyde Park in August.

The LIRR’s community outreach team issued a statement, saying “in addition to the 3TC team continuing to progress toward the “push-in” of the bridge at Covert Avenue and the “roll in” of the bridge at South Tyson Avenue, there continues to be progress made at Merillon Avenue Station and at the future Harrison Avenue Parking Structure, along with sound and retaining walls being installed along the right-of-way in areas throughout the LIRR Expansion Project corridor, among other project elements.”

In Floral Park, the developers said progress at South Tyson Avenue was “85 percent complete” as of the end of July. Beginning on or around Friday, Aug. 16, and lasting through Monday, Aug. 19, the LIRR Expansion Project team will roll in the recently constructed new bridge into place.

South Tyson Avenue, between Tyson Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, will be closed for the entirety of the weekend’s work. Currently, South Tyson Avenue, under the railroad tracks between Tyson Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, is closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays.

“The bridge, in service since 1958, is being modified. The new bridge will address a bottleneck at this section of the LIRR’s Main Line – where four tracks merge into two – and accommodate a future third track to increase capacity and improve service reliability,” Liz Gutierrez, an MTA spokeswoman, said.

Gutierrez said the new third track will originate from the Hempstead Branch, then merge with the Main Line east of South Tyson Avenue to accommodate a future increase in capacity on the Main Line.

Beginning on or about Aug. 15, the construction team will also begin the first phase of the elevator installation portion of the Floral Park Station project. The third track team said they do not expect any impact on access to Floral Park Station, but 30 parking spaces will be removed from service for about seven months during development.

Recently, the third track developers released their “community scorecards” in which they received high marks on their work. While Floral Park had one of the lowest ratings at 66.23 percent, Mayor Dominick Longobardi said he believes that community approval will increase as time goes on. He said the amount of work going on in Floral Park was the issue, saying, “It’s growing pains.”

“All of this work further highlights how the LIRR Expansion Project is truly one of the region’s most significant transportation infrastructure projects,” the outreach team said in a statement.

In Mineola, residents will be seeing work continue on the Harrison Avenue Parking Structure. Following the completion of the excavation of the structure, foundation walls were recently installed and gravel is now being spread.  Since beginning work at the project site, 20,000 tons of soil have been hauled away by about 700 trucks.

The third track developers said that on Aug. 1, 15,000 tons of precast concrete sections were delivered to the job site and will be used to build the structure. As a consequence of the work on the retaining walls, Third Avenue, between First Street and Harrison Avenue, will be closed to vehicular traffic as construction ensues. The front entrance to The Heritage House will remain accessible by foot, but that part of Third Avenue and the front driveway will be inaccessible to vehicular traffic.

Crews will continue to work Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with no night work anticipated.

Temporary traffic control will remain in place at the worksite to minimize interruptions.

In New Hyde Park, the developers have announced that the elimination of the at-grade crossing along Covert Avenue will be complete. To prepare for and execute the “push” of the new bridge, there will be no train service between New Hyde Park and Hicksville in both directions starting at the late evening on Friday, Aug. 23, through early morning, Monday, Aug. 26.

At the July 18 board meeting, New Hyde Park Trustees said they had met with LIRR executives who said that third track work is on schedule. Trustee Rainer Burger said, “Right now, everything is on track with Covert Avenue to open it up in October.”

Questions regarding work going on in one’s community be addressed to the LIRR’s Expansion Project hotline at 516-203-4955 or via email at CommunityOutreach@LIRRExpansion.com.

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