MTA C&D’s LIRR Expansion Project will meet yet another community commitment on Saturday, February 20th by closing the final grade crossing along the 10-mile corridor from Floral Park to Hicksville – this one at Main Street in Mineola. Since construction began on the project just over two years ago, grade crossings at Covert Avenue and S. 12th Street in New Hyde Park, New Hyde Park Road in Garden City, two crossings at Willis Avenue in Mineola, School Street in Westbury and Urban Avenue in New Cassel have also been closed.
MTA C&D worked in consultation with the Village of Mineola on the plan to permanently dead-end the crossing and construct an ADA-compliant pedestrian bridge with elevators on each side of the tracks, just to the west of the crossing. A circular passenger drop-off area, or kiss-and-ride, will be constructed adjacent to the pedestrian bridge on the south side of the tracks.
Vehicles can cross the tracks at nearby Mineola Boulevard to the west of Main Street or Roslyn Road to the east of Main Street. Once the Willis Avenue undergrade crossing is completed in the fall of 2021, vehicles will be able to use that alternative east of Main Street as well.
The grade crossing gates at Main Street and other grade crossings are in the down position up to half the time during A.M. and P.M. peak hours. Doing away with the grade crossings eliminate the possibility of train and vehicle crashes, which have occurred seven times since 2007.
In addition to enhanced safety, the eliminated grade crossings provide other community benefits, including reduction of noise, as trains no longer need to sound their horns as they pass. Crossing gate bells are also eliminated. Since traffic back-ups will be a thing of the past at the crossings, a reduction in vehicle exhaust will result in cleaner air.
The LIRR Expansion Project is on budget and on time for completion by the end of 2022. For more information on the project and detours, please click here.