Work for the LIRR’s third track project in Mineola will involve closing Willis Avenue between 2nd Street and Front Street for six months to eliminate a grade crossing, finishing a parking garage on Harrison Avenue and starting work on an enhanced LIRR station next year, MTA spokesman Travis Brennan said.
The third track project will be coming to Mineola in 2020 in a major way, Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said after hosting a presentation by Brennan at a village board meeting last Wednesday.
“We have some challenges ahead of us. Obviously, the third track program is coming into the village in force in January,” Strauss said.
Strauss said that the village will continue to host representatives like Brennan at village board work sessions to keep the community informed.
After utility work during the winter, Willis Avenue will close for major construction in May for six months, Brennan said.
“That’s utility relocation work primarily getting the utilities both above and below ground out of the way so we can dig up the road,” Brennan said. “We expect to start, eliminate and close Willis Avenue in May of next year.”
MTA spokeswoman Meredith Daniels said in an interview that the MTA doesn’t know how far north or south 3rd Track Constructors intends to close Willis Avenue between 2nd Street and Front Street for project work yet.
A two-way grade-separated underpass with an elevator and pedestrian bridge will replace Willis Avenue’s grade crossing, the MTA said. It will provide a one-way service road on the west side of Willis Avenue and connect northbound Willis Avenue to eastbound Hinck Way, the MTA said.
Brennan said any road damage resulting from the project will be repaired. He said that the MTA assessed every road in the project’s 10-mile stretch during preliminary work using vehicles he compared to Google cars.
“It measured the ground, it showed the density of the pavement, “ Brennan said. “We have a payment plan that goes far beyond that. All those streets will be repaved and all those streets that were affected by our equipment will be brought back to existing condition.”
The parking garage on Harrison Avenue is set to be finished by July, Brennan said. The second garage on 2nd Street is set to start in early 2021.
Brennan said that the start date for work on the Mineola train station is “solid, but somewhat fluid” for early 2020 with completion expected in the spring of 2021.
“We need to make sure we’re not working on two stations at the same time,” Brennan said.