Construction updates along LIRR Third Track expansion

Construction updates along LIRR Third Track expansion
An artist’s rendering shows what the New Hyde Park Long Island Rail Road station could look like if the third track project, first announced in January, is completed. (Photo from third track scoping document)

The new year will bring additional phases in the Long Island Rail Road’s third track construction project on the main line in Nassau County.

The contractor responsible for the project, 3TC, outlined its plans on its website.

In Mineola, trenching for underground utility relocation that stopped in mid-December will resume on Wednesday, Jan. 2, on Harrison Avenue, as the total relocation of utility poles continues into the end of January. Stray current testing in the village also recently halted, with no significant impacts to the village’s electrical supply system reported by the village.

There is currently no night work planned for the month of January in Mineola or any village.

The utility relocation and trenching are a part of the plan to eliminate seven grade crossings and replace them with underpasses.

In New Hyde Park, demolition of an old commercial building at 124 Covert Ave., directly adjacent to the Covert Avenue grade crossing that will be eliminated, is complete and site cleanup is underway. Altice underground fiber relocations will take place five days a week starting Monday, Jan. 7, and utility pole relocations by Altice in the village should be complete before New Year’s Eve.

The village board also recently saw the plans for the first time for the temporary relocation of fire equipment and resources, to be set up in the community parking lot on South Twelfth Street, just south of the LIRR tracks.

The New Hyde Park Fire Department is located north of the LIRR tracks where the construction will be taking place.

The relocation of equipment will allow for adequate response times in emergencies  while construction is going on in the area, officials said.

3TC will also begin driving piles into Covert Avenue sometime early in the new year for the underpass, Village of New Hyde Park officials said. The piles will not be pounded but rather vibrated into the ground, to insure nearby residents are affected as little as possible, officials said. Vibration monitors will gauge the impacts on homes in the area.

There is no work scheduled for Garden City Park for the month of January, and the most recent work done in the area involved the clearing and removal of vegetation.

An October meeting between the Garden City Park Civic Association, North Hempstead Town Councilman Angelo Ferrera and representatives from the MTA’s Architectural and Engineering contractor detailed the plans for rebuilding the Merillon Avenue train station and renovations to the Nassau Boulevard underpass.

Resident Stephen Cipot expressed concern over the lack of permanent sound attenuation walls in the area to combat the projected increase of train volume that would be experienced as a result of the addition of the third track. MTA officials are also looking into plans to replace current trains with renovated ones with quieter undercarriages, according to Cipot.

A row of houses directly adjacent to the north tracks is slated to have permanent sound barriers installed, and additional sound attenuation walls will be constructed on the south side as well, according to Cipot.

Efforts to reach the LIRR Expansion Community Outreach team for comment were unavailing.

Much of the Garden City Park area of the project remains in the design phase, and information sessions will be scheduled for follow-up with LIRR outreach  representatives, Cipot said.

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