A new LIRR Bridge and underpass tunnel will be pushed into place at the Covert Avenue Grade Crossing Elimination project in New Hyde Park over the course of a single weekend, August 24-25, during a double track outage. The entire massive new train bridge and tunnel structure is being completed adjacent to the tracks in preparation for the installation.
Planned as an orchestrated weekend activity, the existing LIRR tracks and systems will be removed to allow for material supporting the tracks to be excavated: once the excavation is complete, the bridge will be pushed into place utilizing a system comprising 12 jacks; each jack has the capacity of 200 tons, for a total of 2,400 tons of total jacking force. The jacking system can incrementally push 20 inches with each stroke – and will be reset after each push. Over the course of the weekend, the system will be reset a total of 30 times to move the bridge the required 50 feet into its final position.
Once the bridge and tunnel structure is pushed into place, LIRR workers will re-install the tracks and support systems to allow for the Main Line to be ready for service during Monday morning’s rush hour commute on August 26th. The bridge installation will be followed by additional excavation and the construction of the retaining wall and roadway. The road and new underpass are scheduled to be opened to traffic this fall, with two traffic lanes and a pedestrian walkway on the east side of the underpass. With the grade crossing eliminated, traffic will flow freely under the Mainline, decreasing vehicle exhaust; bells and train horns will no longer need to sound, thus reducing excess noise and improving the quality of life in New Hyde Park.
Quick Facts – New Covert Avenue Bridge:
- Length/span: 36.5 feet
- Width: 38.0 feet
- Weight of the 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)
- Typical jack stroke length: 20 inches
- U structure travel length: Approximately 50 feet
- Number of commuters who will pass over the bridge each day: 107,000 commuters/day
The Covert Avenue grade crossing is one of eight to be eliminated as part of the LIRR Expansion Project from Floral Park to Hicksville. The project began with utility relocation in the spring of 2018 and the demolition and removal of the structure at 124 Covert Avenue. Crews began drilling soldier piles in February 2019 to shore up the excavation area. All of this work made it possible for the project team to keep Covert Avenue open until April 15, 2019, when excavation for the underpass began. For more information about the Covert Avenue Grade Crossing project, and for progress photos, please visit the project page on AModernLI.com – //www.amodernli.com/project/covert-avenue-grade-crossing-elimination/.
The LIRR Expansion Project Expansion Project Floral Park to Hicksville will add a third track along the 10-mile-long corridor, 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, widening and 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 percent. Together, the upgrades will help transform transportation across the region and provide a reliable, state-of-the-art rail system for Long Islanders. For more information and photos of ongoing construction, please visit the LIRR Expansion Project Floral Park to Hicksville project page on AModernLI.com – //www.amodernli.com/project/thirdtrack/.