Marking the fifth bridge installation since June, the LIRR Expansion Project team completed the Nassau Boulevard Bridge roll-in this past weekend.
In just 55 hours, LIRR and 3TC crews successfully replaced the 108-year-old, 11’6” Nassau Boulevard Bridge in a single weekend, October 5-6. The new bridge was installed and power was restored to the Main Line in time for the Monday morning commute. Also on Monday, the roadway beneath the bridge reopened to traffic.
With the increased clearance height of the new bridge, trucks will safely pass underneath, eliminating a long-standing vulnerability that caused safety concerns and delays from over-height trucks. The bridge had been struck 16 times in 2018-2019, and 43 times since 2010, making it the third most frequently struck of all the LIRR’s bridges.
Quick facts: The new bridge is 14 feet high, 47 feet long, 39 feet wide and weighs 285 tons.
Using a more efficient construction approach, the bridge was assembled in place adjacent to the site, and LIRR crews inched it into place over this past weekend following the demolition of the old bridge. After the new bridge was firmly set in place, crews rebuilt the track atop the bridge, while reconnecting the existing two tracks. The bridge has a bay for a third track, which will extend through a 9.8-mile stretch from Floral Park to Hicksville, to expand the LIRR’s capacity, allow reverse commuting and increase service flexibility. The overall LIRR Expansion Project is set for completion in 2022.
The bridge is the fifth major bridge-related project to be completed over the past 17 weeks along the LIRR’s Main Line in Nassau County as part of the LIRR Expansion Project:
- On June 1-2, the MTA replaced the LIRR’s Cherry Lane Bridge in Carle Place;
- on Aug. 17-18, crews replaced a bridge over S. Tyson Avenue in Floral Park;
- on July 20-21, crews installed a new bridge over Urban Avenue in New Cassel, creating an underpass for vehicles;
- on Aug. 24-25, crews placed a new bridge at the previous railroad crossing at Covert Avenue in New Hyde Park – the newly-rebuilt roadway underneath the bridge is slated to reopen to traffic the weekend of October 12.
“We have four more existing bridges to replace and six more at-grade crossings to eliminate over the next 35 months,” said MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber. “The LIRR Expansion Project is moving forward at an extraordinary pace, which is why it is the model project for how we are changing the way we manage large capital projects to do them smarter, faster and better.”
LIRR President Phil Eng said: “With each element of the LIRR Expansion Project that is completed our railroad gets a little bit healthier and less prone to potential challenges. Even before the third main line track is placed we are receiving benefits, because raising the height of bridges prevents over-height trucks from striking the bridges, which creates train delays.”
The construction of a third track from Floral Park to Hicksville will reduce train congestion and delays and enable true bi-directional service during peak hours with a more reliable rail network. This transformative work includes several related projects, including the construction of parking garages, retaining walls, improvements to rail bridges and the removal of eight street-level grade crossings. Construction is being managed to minimize the impact on daily routines, with extensive mitigation and public outreach efforts in local communities. For more information, please visit the LIRR Expansion Project Floral Park to Hicksville project page on AModernLI.com.