The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will close the Carle Place and Westbury LIRR stations this upcoming weekend and temporarily suspend train service between Mineola and Hicksville in both directions to make way for a new overpass coming to Westbury.
The MTA has hired Third Track Constructors, or 3TC, to build a third track along the Long Island Rail Road’s 9.8-mile Main Line. The Main Line is a stretch of track that about 40 percent of riders travel along daily. As part of the project, 3TC will eliminate several at-grade crossings, including the one at Urban Avenue in Westbury. The crossing will be replaced with an overpass.
"The replacement of the crossing with an overpass will improve safety, reduce noise and air pollution and improve traffic," LIRR spokesman Aaron Donovan said Friday.
LIRR officials said an overpass means vehicles won't have to stop for trains. MTA data shows that the gates at the Westbury crossing are down 27 percent and 35 percent of the time during morning and afternoon peak traffic hours, respectively. The new overpass will have three train tracks, a two-lane underpass for vehicle traffic and a pedestrian sidewalk.
On Saturday and Sunday, 3TC crews plan to install the bridge for the overpass. The LIRR suggests riders take the Hempstead, Babylon or Montauk lines that weekend. The Nassau Inter-County Express N22 and N24 buses will also get riders to the Mineola train station, the LIRR said.
3TC expects to finish its Urban Avenue work in September.
3TC will also eliminate at-grade crossings on Willis Avenue and Main Street in Mineola; at School Street in Westbury; and on Covert Avenue, South 12th Street and New Hyde Park Road in New Hyde Park. LIRR officials said the crossings pose a safety risk to pedestrians, drivers and LIRR customers, noting that there were six fatal crashes at grade crossings along the Main Line between 2007 and 2017.