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LIRR Expansion Project Reaches Second Major Milestone in Two Weeks as Crews Install New Railroad Bridge Over New Hyde Park Road

Long Island Rail Road
Updated July 13, 2020 7:35 p.m.

Time Lapse Video of Crews Moving Bridge Into Place Is Available Here


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that crews working to eliminate the New Hyde Park Road railroad crossing on the border of New Hyde Park and Garden City successfully installed a new three-bay bridge that will carry the Long Island Rail Road Main Line over the roadway, and an accompanying underpass.

The bridge installation is the second major milestone in two weeks for the LIRR Expansion Project. Two weekends ago crews replaced the LIRR’s Glen Cove Road Bridge 3.4 miles to the east in Carle Place.

“This project will deliver huge benefits for Long Island — increased safety, more frequent and more reliable train service, speedier economic recovery and growth,” said Janno Lieber, President of MTA Construction & Development. “And — as shown by the flawless operation we executed this past weekend at New Hyde Park Road —  MTA Construction & Development is delivering on schedule every step of the way.”

LIRR President Phil Eng said, “This marks another major milestone for the Long Island Rail Road and for Long Island. The elimination of the New Hyde Park Road grade crossing will provide a safer and more seamless commute through this highly traveled corridor both for LIRR riders and for those that use New Hyde Park Road. In 2019 we had 24 incidents with broken gates or down gates and now they are gone for good. I thank the LIRR workforce and the design build team of 3TC as we rebuild our infrastructure ensuring that the railroad will continue to help restore Long Island’s economy today and be well positioned for future generations.”

The grade crossing was closed to vehicular traffic and pedestrians on Feb. 3. Over the past several months, crews installed soldier piles, excavated soil to depress the roadway under the tracks, and built the new 3,350-ton railroad bridge and tunnel structure on the south side of the tracks in preparation for this weekend’s installation.

This weekend, more than 600 workers “blitzed” the project more than 34 construction operations. They removed the existing LIRR tracks and systems at New Hyde Park Road to allow for materials supporting the tracks to be excavated. Following excavation, the bridge was pushed into place utilizing a system that includes 20 hydraulic jacks to move the structure into place. Each jack has a capacity of 250 tons for a total of 5,000 tons of total jacking force. The jacking system is capable of pushing the bridge a distance of 20 inches with each stroke. After each push of 20 inches, the jacking system was reset a total of 40 times to move the 75- by 40-foot bridge the required 68 feet into its final position.

The new bridge has three bays – two for the existing two Main Line tracks and a third that will accommodate the third track when it is built as one of the final phases of the Main Line Expansion project. It also has space for a fully accessible pedestrian overpass along the south side of the tracks that will connect Garden City commuters with the New Hyde Park LIRR Station.

Reconstruction of the roadway is on pace to be completed by Labor Day weekend, when the roadway is scheduled to reopen – just seven months after it was closed. Last summer, crews installed bridges to replace previous at-grade railroad crossings at Covert Avenue, four tenths of a mile to the west in New Hyde Park, and Urban Avenue, 6.4 miles to the east in New Cassel. Work is now underway to replace the railroad crossing at School Street, on the border of Westbury and New Cassel.

Overview: LIRR Expansion Project from Floral Park to Hicksville

The LIRR Expansion Project will add a third track from Floral Park to Hicksville, reducing train congestion and delays and enabling true bi-directional service during peak hours. This transformative work includes several related projects, including the construction of additional parking garages and improved station access, retaining and sound attenuation walls, improvements to rail bridges and the removal of the eight street-level railroad crossings in the corridor. Construction is being handled in a way to minimize the impact on daily routines, with extensive mitigation and public outreach efforts to local communities.

The LIRR Expansion Project is part of a multibillion-dollar modernization of the Long Island Rail Road, the largest investment the railroad has received in decades. Once the work is complete, the LIRR will have increased its capacity by roughly 50%. Together, the upgrades will help transform transportation across the region and provide a reliable, state-of-the-art rail system for Long Islanders.