The Covert Avenue grade crossing has come a long way since the 1940s. During the successful bridge push-in the weekend of August 24-25 in New Hyde Park, esteemed LIRR historian Dave Morrison stopped by the construction site to enlighten construction crews and onlookers about the grade crossing’s storied history.
“Looking at photographs of the Covert Avenue grade crossing that Fred J. Weber took in 1943, and seeing what that crossing looks like today, gives me a feeling of utter amazement,” Morrison said. “To me, this is one of the biggest LIRR transformations in its 185-year history.”
Over a single weekend, August 24-25, crews from LIRR and 3rd Track Constructors worked around the clock to successfully “push” into place the new bridge and underpass structure for Covert Avenue in the Village of New Hyde Park. 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.
These historic photos of the grade crossing date from 1943.
Following additional work in and around the area, Covert Avenue will reopen to motorists with a two-lane underpass with a pedestrian sidewalk on the east side of the underpass. Once completed, elimination of the Covert Ave grade crossing will alleviate vehicular congestion crossing the railroad tracks, reduce emissions and improve the reliability of the LIRR Main Line. The reconstructed grade crossing will enhance safety and provide for a quieter and more livable community along the railroad. For more information and photos of ongoing construction, please visit Covert Avenue Grade Crossing Elimination project page on AModernLI.com.