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Long IslandNassau

LIRR bridge replacement proposed in Westbury

Cars travel over the badly damaged Ellison Avenue

Cars travel over the badly damaged Ellison Avenue Long Island Rail Road bridge in Westbury, Monday, April 28, 2014. Credit: Steve Pfost

Metropolitan Transportation Authority board members are to vote Wednesday on a $39.2 million plan to build a new bridge over the LIRR tracks at Ellison Avenue in Westbury, the agency announced Monday.

The project would replace a deteriorating 115-year-old raised roadway between the Carle Place and Westbury stations, the MTA said in a news release.

"Ellison Avenue is a major north-south thoroughfare through Nassau County. And tens of thousands of vehicles a week utilize that bridge," Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro said.

The proposal is part of a five-year, $211.5 million infrastructure investment to repair the Long Island Rail Road's Main Line Corridor.

The bridge, an overpass for five LIRR branches and almost half of Long Island travelers, would be demolished, redesigned and rebuilt by 2016, MTA Long Island Committee officials said at their meeting Monday in Manhattan.

LIRR officials in late April 2011 committed to starting work to replace the bridge. At that time, the project cost was estimated at $31.6 million.

If approved, the work would include a Project Labor Agreement with local trade unions designed to lower construction costs and promote the use of local unionized labor, officials said in a statement.

The New York State Department of Transportation has expressed concerns about the bridge, which is covered with steel plates.

The village informed the LIRR more than 20 years ago about the need to replace the bridge, Cavallaro said, adding that the project is "a long time coming."

"Our residents really are very anxious to have this bridge replaced," he said. "We've been working really hard with the railroad and with our local representatives to try to move that along."

With Alfonso A. Castillo


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