With Safety Week behind us, it’s a good time to reflect on how MTA Construction & Development and the LIRR is working to make the future safer not only for Long Island.
During Safety Week – the week of May 10th – partner companies came together to provide briefings in several key areas in construction, attended by dozens of Third Track Constructors employees.
Representatives from Milwaukee Tools held a demonstration on power tool safety, followed by a power line safety session by Crosby Rigging and a fall protection session by Werner Co. on three separate days. Following proper procedures and protocols helps to protect the public in addition to keeping workers safe.
Many of the elements of the LIRR Expansion project are also focused on safety. Among the most important is the elimination of eight undergrade crossings along the 10-mile long Main Line corridor. Between 2007 and 2020, there were seven fatal accidents at these crossings and countless near misses. Separating the road from the rails virtually eliminates the possibility of train-vehicle collisions at these intersections, with not a single accident since the grade crossings were eliminated.
Replacement of bridges is another safety aspect of the LIRR Expansion Project. Old bridges, such as the one on Cherry Lane in Carle Place, Post Avenue in Westbury and Nassau Boulevard in Garden City had a height of less than 12 feet, making these structures susceptible to strikes by tall trucks. Those collisions had the possibility of compromising the structural integrity of the bridge, requiring road closures and detours while crews assessed and repaired damage. Bridge strikes also often require the suspension of service or trains operating at reduced speeds.
The rebuilding of stations along the corridor also enhances safety by adding security cameras and making stations fully ADA compliant. New elevators and better provide a safer way for mobility impaired customers to traverse railroad tracks and new ramps provide easier access to the station platforms. Additionally, 12-car platforms at rebuilt stations make entering and exiting train cars safer, as all cars of the train will now platform.
Safety has always been and will continue to be the MTA’s top priority.