Construction on the new bridge that will eliminate the Covert Avenue grade crossing in New Hyde Park is nearing completion in advance of the bridge installation, set to take place over a single weekend August 24-25. The entire massive new train bridge and tunnel structure is being constructed adjacent to the tracks in preparation for installation after the existing LIRR tracks and supporting soil beneath them is removed that same weekend.
The entire structure, including the retaining walls, currently rests on a U structure or tub which will be pushed into place with jacks while LIRR service along this portion of the Main Line is suspended, similar to the recent completion of the installation of the new Urban Avenue Bridge in New Cassel.
Quick Facts – New Covert Avenue Bridge:
- Length/span: 36.5 feet
- Width: 38.0 feet
- Weight of bridge steel superstructure: 140 tons (160 tons with ballast and track)
- Total weight of U structure (including bridge steel, concrete abutments and floor slab): 1,200 tons
- Total force required to push U structure: 600 tons
- Number of jacks to be used: 12 Jacks (200-ton capacity each jack)
- How far U structure will travel: Approximately 50 feet
- Material used to construct bridge: Grade 50W steel
- Number of commuters who will pass over the bridge each day: 107,000 commuters/day
The Covert Avenue grade crossing has long posed a safety risk to drivers, pedestrians and LIRR customers, contributed to noise and air pollution and caused lengthy commutes for both drivers and LIRR customers: as trains approach the station in New Hyde Park, grade crossing gates are down 32 to 42 percent of the time in the AM and PM peak hour periods.
The elimination of the Covert Avenue grade crossing is part of the LIRR Expansion Project to strengthen the reliability of LIRR infrastructure and to support the growth and development of Long Island and the wider region. As always, you can find out more about the project by visiting www.LIRRExpansion.com. You can also reach out to the project team through the 24/7 Community Hotline at (516) 203-4955 or email CommunityOutreach@LIRRExpansion.com with your inquiries and comments.