As many non-essential employees across the state are telecommuting as we all work together to flatten the curve and combat COVID-19, the MTA’s and LIRR’s essential workers and contractors continue safely transporting health care workers, first responders and other essential workers to and from their jobs. These transportation not only operate the subways, busses, commuter rails and bridges and tunnels, they’re maintaining stations and critical infrastructure, while disinfecting stations and fleet daily. These critical infrastructure work will keep the MTA system running for the essential workers who need it now, and long after this global health crisis subsides.
On Long Island, these workers and contractors are keeping projects on track. A quick highlight of LIRR Expansion Project activities:
Steel girders for an additional bay to carry a third LIRR Main Line track over Plainfield Avenue were delivered and hoisted into place. The bridge will be completely erected by the end of the month.
Assembly of the precast sections for the garage has been completed. Elevator installation and architectural work will begin soon. A certificate of occupancy and opening of the garage is expected by the end of the year, adding 481 parking spots to the lot it is replacing, for a total of 683 spots.
Construction to replace the Glen Cove Road bridge has begun, with Support of Excavation (SOE) walls being installed. Utility relocation, abutment reconstruction and a new bridge to be constructed on site will take place soon. Then, in just one weekend this summer, the existing bridge will be demolished, and the new three-bay bridge will be rolled into place in a manner similar to how the Cherry Lane and Nassau Boulevard bridges were installed last year. The new bridge will be in service immediately following the one-weekend service outage.
While the LIRR Expansion Project’s Community Information Center in Mineola has been temporarily closed to ensure continued safety for our employees and the public, the outreach team is still hard at work communicating with affected communities by email, phone and through the website at www.AModernLI.com. To reach a team member, call the 24/7 hotline at 516-203-4955 or email CommunityOutreach@LIRRExpansion.com.
Some other LIRR project highlights include:
Rehab of the Murry Hill Station on the Port Washington Line nears completion, as elevators were recently installed on both the eastbound and westbound platforms, which will make the station fully ADA compliant once testing is completed and the elevators are in operation. New concrete has been poured for the sidewalks on both sides of the station and pavers were installed on the eastbound side. Westbound side pavers are in the process of being installed. Further finishing touches, like plaza furniture (benches; tables; chairs), and bike racks, areexpected to be completed this month.
Now that LIRR (essential) personnel stationed at the Mid-Suffolk Yard are occupying the new employee facility, (of course while practicing official health guidelines for social distancing), demolition of the old facility is slated to begin this month. Electrical feeder cables connecting the yard’s DC substation to the PSEG Bohemia substation is underway. The yard’s additional capacity will support the additional train service planned once East Side Access – a new LIRR terminal under Grand Central – opens at the end of 2022.
Despite the additional challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, MTA and LIRR leadership continue to do everything possible to keep employees and contractors protected while these transformational MTA and LIRR projects continue to progress. Management continues to monitor that official health guidelines are followed, While there has been little to no supply disruption to date, we are constantly monitoring developments and, as always, keeping the health and safety of our employees and contractors at the forefront of every decision.