It’s a testament to the innovative design-build method, and the MTA and LIRR’s commitment to keep the LIRR Expansion Project on time and on budget, while using the summer construction season to complete as many projects as possible. Following the grand reopening of Urban Avenue in New Cassel, Covert Avenue in New Hyde Park will be open for business, and to traffic, on Saturday, October 12, with a two-lane underpass beneath the new Covert Avenue Bridge. In a show of progress, the deck for the 2nd Avenue Bridge has been poured, and the sidewalk on the east side of the underpass has been installed.
On April 15, Covert Avenue was closed between 1st Avenue and 5th Avenue as major construction began at the site, including the excavation of the grade-separated roadway. By the fourth week of construction, crews had begun lowering the roadway elevation, and in June the construction of the new bridges crossing over Covert Avenue and the underpass was in full swing. Then, over a single weekend, August 24-25, crews from LIRR and 3rd Track Constructors worked around the clock to successfully “push” the bridge and underpass structure into place. Workers moved the pre-constructed structure in increments more than 50 feet into position on the LIRR Main Line, after removing tracks and excavating down 25 feet in preparation. LIRR crews then rebuilt the tracks and reinstalled the supporting systems.
This was one of five successful bridge installations completed within 17 weeks between June and October. The other four completed bridge installations are:
- Cherry Lane Bridge in Carle Place (June 1-2)
- S. Tyson Avenue in Floral Park (August 17-18)
- Urban Avenue Bridge and Underpass in New Cassel (July 20-12)
- Nassau Boulevard Bridge in Garden City (October 5-6)
Throughout construction on the project, which began a year ago, the LIRR Expansion Project outreach team coordinated with businesses and residents in New Hyde Park to keep the community apprised of construction activities and to provide information about vehicular detours following the April 15th closure of Covert Avenue. Design Build Contractor 3rd Track Constructors also developed an “Open for Business” program to help local businesses during construction. With safety in mind, the Expansion Project team built a temporary firehouse at S. 12th Street in New Hyde Park, to provide easier access to emergency services for residents on the south side of the Main Line, as both of New Hyde Park Fire Department’s current facilities are on the north side.
The Covert Avenue Grade Crossing Elimination reduces safety risks to drivers, pedestrians and LIRR customers. Lowered gates previously contributed to noise and air pollution and caused lengthy commutes for both drivers and LIRR customers. For more information, and photos of ongoing construction, please visit the Covert Avenue Grade Crossing Elimination project page on AModernLI.com.
The construction of a third track from Floral Park to Hicksville will reduce train congestion and delays and enable true bi-directional service during peak hours with a more reliable rail network. This transformative work includes several related projects, including the construction of parking garages, retaining walls, improvements to rail bridges and the removal of eight street-level grade crossings. Construction is being managed to minimize the impact on daily routines, with extensive mitigation and public outreach efforts in local communities.
For any questions or comments about this specific project element, or any work related to the LIRR Expansion Project, please don’t hesitate to contact us through the project’s 24-hour Hotline at 516.203.4955 or email us at CommunityOutreach@LIRRexpansion.com.