MTA C&D’s LIRR modernization work planned for this year rivals the aggressive schedule being met by the successful Third Track project, with signal replacement, a new substation, Jamaica Station capacity improvements, viaduct work, and smaller mentoring program work on tab for 2021.
The railroad’s signal system is one of the key components in maintaining reliable service. Many of the signal systems on the LIRR have reached the end of their useful life and need to be replaced. In order to address this, we are replacing signal equipment at nine locations, doing grade crossing renewals at 72 locations; replacing nearly 15 miles of aerial cable, and doing signal hut and hut battery replacements at 24 locations, and switch machine replacements at 15 locations.
Also under construction is a new substation in Richmond Hill, Queens. The old facility will be demolished and replaced by a new pre-fabricated modular building, pre-installed switchgear, rectifiers, control cabinets and other equipment.
One of the projects most LIRR customers have seen under construction are the Jamaica Capacity Improvements. New platforms for Jamaica/Brooklyn service have been constructed. Currently, track realignment is taking place, switches are being replaced and modifications to the signal system are underway. Much of this work is expected to be completed by year end 2021.
Work will also continue throughout the year on the Lynbrook and Rockville Centre viaducts along the north side of Sunrise Highway. The project includes new light fixtures and drainage improvements. Completion is scheduled in the third quarter of this year.
Even with all the ongoing work and challenges presented by COVID-19, MTA C&D and the LIRR is moving ahead with Mentoring Program projects. Projects to prepare bridge surfaces and repaint them by small contractors are scheduled to start this spring. Bridges include Gosman Avenue, Flushing-Main Street and Francis Lewis Boulevard. All are scheduled for completion this summer.
When coupled with LIRR Expansion Project work, LIRR construction activity presents an unprecedented investment in the railroad and in the future of Long Island.