The LIRR Expansion community teams responds to a broad range of questions in the course of a week and below are just some of them . We welcome your questions so that we can continue to provide you with the information you need on this important project.
The LIRR Expansion Project includes the construction of an additional track along a 9.8-mile stretch of the railroad’s heavily traversed Main Line corridor between Floral Park and Hicksville. The project also includes elimination of seven street-level grade crossings, station renovations, new signals and switches, substation replacements, and other upgrades to improve safety and enhance the reliability of passenger rail service.
What are the project benefits?
Fewer delays and improved service reliability by way of an additional track, and extensive infrastructure upgrades, including signals and switches
Better service to employment centers on Long Island and in New York City
Less crowded trains for a smoother commute, and stations that accommodate full-length trains, avoiding the need to walk through train cars to exit
Quicker service recovery after delay-inducing incidents
Additional parking for railroad commuters
Fewer cars on the road, easing traffic congestion and improving air quality
Elimination of disruptive, noisy train horns and gate bells required at street-level train crossings
Noise reduction from the installation of sound-attenuation walls along tracks in the project corridor
When will construction begin?
Early pre-construction activities (including design, surveying, mobilization, and utility relocations) are underway. Substantial construction is expected to begin in late 2018 following the completion of early work. The overall project is expected to be completed by late 2022.
When do you start construction in my neighborhood?
In most communities along the nearly ten-mile stretch of the LIRR Main Line, preliminary construction work has already begun. This work includes locating existing underground utilities, soil stability surveys, clearing overgrown vegetation, surveying roads and bridges near the rail right-of-way, and conducting pre-construction inspections to determine existing conditions of structures surrounding the work sites. Heavy construction work is scheduled to begin in late 2018.
What kind of disruption can I expect?
We understand that a construction project of this size may be challenging at times, but it is our responsibility to communicate with you throughout this project, on all aspects of this work, so that you may be informed and have your questions answered as promptly and completely as possible.
The duration and intensity of work depends on the project element under construction. The project elements are phased to reduce the amount of disruption in any given community at any given time. The biggest disruptions will occur near grade crossings, as we build underpasses to enhance your community – improving safety, reducing traffic congestion, and eliminating the need for passing trains to sound their horns. Underpass construction will require street closings and diversions to other nearby crossings for several months. Other construction related disruptions will come when we install retaining walls along the existing right-of-way.
How much notice will you give me that construction crews will be in the neighborhood?
In an effort to minimize its impact on your quality of life, the project’s construction team implemented an outreach effort entitled “The Ambassador Program.” Each community has their own point-of-contact who can provide you with the latest information on the project, and of equal importance, can quickly address your questions and concerns. Your Community Ambassador will provide as much advance notice as possible, understanding that the schedule of a design/build project changes frequently.
How will the project impact streets in my community?
The elimination of the LIRR’s street-level rail crossings, called grade crossings, has been underway since the 1980s along the Main Line. Seven grade crossings along this 9.8-mile corridor will be eliminated, which will dramatically improve safety for both LIRR customers and crew, as well as motorists. Five of these grade crossings will have underpasses, allowing traffic to flow even when trains are passing overhead. Traffic along these crossings will see vast improvements, as crossing gates currently can close roadways for up to 30 minutes in a peak hour, contributing to significant congestion on local streets. In consultation with the villages, two of the grade crossings will be closed to vehicular traffic entirely, with pedestrian underpass or overpass solutions to allow pedestrian access at these locations.
During construction, there will be temporary lane and road closures, as needed. To ensure community safety and access, one of the first things we did was brief Nassau County’s First Responders on the specifics of the project. We also met with the Nassau County Fire Commissioner and the Nassau County Police Commissioner to discuss construction timelines and how best to ensure response times are protected.
Where are your employees going to park?
To minimize our impact on the community, we are creating dedicated off-site parking areas and will, wherever possible, shuttle our workers to construction sites.
Are you going to block my driveway?
One of our primary instructions to anyone working on this project is to be respectful of our neighbors. That includes where we park our vehicles. If a LIRR Expansion Project construction vehicle should block your driveway, please let us know immediately. As a reminder, our hotline number is 516-203-4955 and it is staffed 24/7, by real people. Also, our email address CommunityOutreach@LIRRExpansion.com
Will you be in my backyard or anywhere on my property?
The majority of the construction work will generally be on the LIRR right-of-way and on the streets in your community. That is one reason why we installed access gates to the railroad right-of-way at certain locations, usually at dead ends that abut the railroad property.
Are you working at night? And weekends?
The LIRR is the largest and busiest commuter railroad in the country and the work we are doing will create a state-of-the-art rail system for Long Islanders. While most work will occur during daytime hours, there will be times when we will have to work at night and/or weekends, as there is reduced train traffic during those times.
What are you doing to control dust, dirt, and other nuisances?
Transforming and upgrading the LIRR will provide significant benefits to Long Island and the entire region. We understand that anytime you embark on a construction initiative of this magnitude, there may be issues, which is why we implemented the Ambassador Program. Each community has their own point-of-contact who can answer any concerns that you may have that may arise during construction.
Additionally, we have rigorous operational protocols in place that will reduce construction-related issues – dust, debris and other nuisances.
Is 3TC required to contract with minority- or women-owned businesses?
3rd Track Constructors is committed to job growth and contract opportunities for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOBs) throughout the duration of the LIRR Expansion Project. Our approach is to break opportunities down into small, economically-feasible packages to ensure that MWBEs and SDVOBs can compete for first-tier awards. To learn more, please visit us at Work With Us.