MTA C&D closed Willis Avenue and nearby east-west streets on November 30th to construct an undergrade roadway under both the Main Line and the Oyster Bay Branch. This is the final underpass to be constructed as part of the LIRR Expansion Project and the only one eliminating two grade crossings at once.
Excavation will take place in phases, covering the south side of the Main Line, north side of the Oyster Bay Branch, and the area between the Main Line and the Oyster Bay Branch. Bridges for both branches will be constructed onsite, then pushed into place during service outages on two consecutive weekends.
During those operations, a series of hydraulic jacks will push each bridge into place. LIRR crews will then install electric, communications and power systems and restore service for Monday morning peak service.
The grade crossing eliminations will enhance safety, reduce noise and air pollution and reduce traffic back-ups, as vehicles will no longer need to wait at crossings as trains pass, which can be as much as 35 percent of the time during rush hours. Warning bells on crossing gates will be eliminated and passing trains will no longer need to sound their horns, enhancing the community’s quality of life.
Following the closure of Willis Avenue, the Main Street grade crossing in Mineola will be the eighth and final crossing to be eliminated as part of the LIRR Expansion project.
The roadway is expected to reopen in fall of 2021. During the closure, traffic detours will be in place. See the flyer below for more details.