As a consequence of work being done on the expansive LIRR Third Track project, there will be no trains traveling between Mineola and Hicksville in either direction this weekend.
On July 20-21, Carle Place Station and Westbury Station will both be closed due to continuing work on the project. The developers will be putting in the bridge for the Urban Avenue overpass in New Cassel. The newly constructed overpass will hold three tracks and will feature a two-lane underpass for vehicular traffic that also includes a pedestrian sidewalk.
Aaron Donovan, spokesman for the MTA, said, “We are recommending a few different options.” He said villages are alerted in advance to these closures and detours and the construction is “certainly on our agenda in our community meetings.”
Donovan said he does not expect much trouble because trains to and from New York City and Mineola will still be running.
For customers affected by the Carle Place and Westbury Stations’ closing, the LIRR recommends that they travel to and from Mineola and park in the Mineola Intermodal Center garage located on the south side of the LIRR station. The LIRR also said bus services, like the N22 and N24 NICE Bus, can be used to reach Mineola Station.
Based on normal weekend usage patterns, Donovan said, “we expect hundreds of spaces at Mineola Intermodal Center would be available to handle folks who may drive in from Carle Place or Westbury.”
Parking for the train is often a source of debate in Mineola. Last month during a board of trustees meeting, Mayor Scott Strauss spoke of regulating parking throughout Mineola.
“Because we have free parking on Sundays and it’s a quick ride to New York City on the train, people from all over come over and park here all day,” he said at the meeting. He revealed that the board will discuss having metered parking hours throughout downtown Mineola from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays, but there have been no updates on this consideration.
Strauss did not respond to requests for comment on LIRR closures between Mineola and Hicksville this weekend and detours into Mineola.
The community outreach team for the project pointed out that at-grade railroad crossings have created problems in the LIRR’s 185-year history, causing noise, safety and traffic concerns. The elimination of eight at-grade crossings are key elements of the third track project, including the one at Urban Avenue, the team said.