The LIRR Expansion Project has always been more than steel rails, innovative engineering, and the end of those maddening crossing gates. In fact, from its earliest stages, the project has emphasized the importance of new landscaping and other design elements that would offer aesthetic improvements once construction was completed. Now, in the waning days of 2020, this community commitment is beginning to become apparent with the final result offering a far greener and more visually appealing Main Line corridor.
The evidence is already visible in a few of the communities along the Main Line even before the first snows of winter arrived.
“Re-greening” is already being recognized by nearby residents and community stakeholders in Floral Park along Terrance Avenue. Sidewalks with all new landscaping have been installed along the avenue in front of the new retaining and sound wall. Surface gravel along the base of the wall has been replaced with topsoil for planting, and a variety of trees, shrubbery and other vegetation are being planted. For additional beautification, mulching proved to be the perfect final touch.
In late September, the New Hyde Park Road Pedestrian Overpass opened, providing a new ADA-compliant pathway that safely connects the east and west sides of the roadway. Throughout the month of October, crews restored the area by installing fresh landscaping, including the creation of berms, the planting of trees and shrubs (evergreens and arborvitae among them), as well as new soil and mulching.
At both sites additional trees will be planted once selected species become seasonally available.
The project’s re-greening effort can be found across the construction corridor. Progress continues at the Mineola Harrison Avenue Parking Structure where the new five-level, 551-space garage is being constructed and at the Westbury North Parking Structure where a 683-space structure is being built.
The beautification of the areas around these project sites is the result of expertise from professional arborists, the vision of public officials, and sustained community collaboration.
Landscape architect Kathleen Dahill stated, “With support of the Project’s public outreach team, from the very beginning we invested significant time to work directly with representatives from the neighboring communities to offer plans for future landscaping that fits the unique aesthetics of each village and town. We then researched, designed, reviewed, and then reviewed once more to ensure we are meeting the needs of that particular site. When the time comes for planting, we work as a unified team to ensure everything goes smoothly.” (The full interview can be found here.)
The LIRR Expansion Project has been designed to meet the regional needs of the Island, but, equally important, to serve countless future generations who will benefit from the attention paid today to the athletics along the Main Line. As this effort continues we look forward to providing you with project status reports and links to online updates.
Our Community Ambassador team is always here and available should you have any questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact us through the project’s 24-hour Hotline at 516.203.4955 or by email at CommunityOutreach@LIRRexpansion.com. To make sure that you receive the latest LIRR Expansion Project updates right to your inbox, please register here.