With four of eight railroad crossings eliminated and six of seven bridges replaced or upgraded, among other accomplishments, MTA Construction & Development has reached the half way point for construction of the LIRR Expansion Project, ahead of schedule and under budget. The project, one of the largest transportation infrastructure projects in North America, will introduce 10 miles of new track between Floral Park and Hicksville. Many projects, such as this, are working under the successful design-build model that has fostered innovation and incentivized faster work with less community disruption.
C&D is working quickly and efficiently to get a number of projects done following a successful summer of accomplishments, including the School Street undergrade crossing which is scheduled to open to traffic in November, months before originally scheduled. Final bridge installation, using the innovative box-jacking method, was completed Oct. 5. The eastern portions of the Merillon Avenue Station platforms, in Garden City, will open to commuters this month and temporary station platforms will be demolished.
The installation of elevators at the Floral Park station making it fully ADA compliant is nearing completion and the completion of Carle Place Station is expected this winter.
As the LIRR Expansion Project hit its halfway point, a number of important milestones were reached during the dog days of summer. Despite a national pandemic, notable construction continued with protocols developed to keep workers safe. Among the completed projects was the replacement of the Glen Cove Road bridge. Using a method successfully employed at Nassau Boulevard and Cherry Lane among other locations, the new bridge was built on site and then during a weekend double track service outage on June 29, the old two-bay bridge was removed and replaced with a new three-bay bridge to accommodate the future third track.
Just a couple of months later on August 24, the New Hyde Park Road undergrade crossing was opened ahead of schedule, less than seven months after the roadway was closed. The crossing was the third to be eliminated, following Urban Avenue and Covert Avenue. In an incredible feat of engineering, the railroad bridge and U-structure was pushed into place during a double track service outage using a series of hydraulic jacks, after being constructed on site.
As the summer came to a close, MTA C&D achieved two more milestones. The steel structure for the Meadowbrook Parkway’s third bay was installed on September 18 and the first section of the third track was installed at the Merillon Avenue station.
In all, when the LIRR Expansion Project is completed, eight grade crossings will have been eliminated, seven bridges replaced or expanded, five stations completely rebuilt, 10 miles of a third track installed and infrastructure such as power substations and interlockings built.