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Cuomo: Strike-prone LIRR span in Westbury to be replaced soon

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks on Thursday, Oct.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, about a new bridge that will replace the low-clearance LIRR overpass, background, on Post Avenue in Westbury later this month. A truck hit the overpass hours earlier, delaying the morning commute. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo went to the LIRR station in Westbury where a truck struck an overpass Thursday to emphasize the need to raise the bridge.

The new bridge, part of the $1.9 billion third track project, will be the first to go into service, starting Oct. 23, Cuomo said at a news conference held near Post Avenue and Union Avenue, the site of Thursday’s crash that delayed part of the LIRR morning commute.

Train service will be suspended on Oct. 21 and 22 to allow workers to take down the old bridge, which had been struck by trucks 80 times in nearly a decade, and install a new one.

“It will be done over the weekend, and Monday morning the trains will be running again,” Cuomo said.

The new bridge will have clearance of 14 feet — 2 feet and 2 inches higher than the current one — said Janno Lieber, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s chief development officer.

The new bridge will reduce or eliminate the kind of truck strikes that happened Thursday, Lieber said.

The LIRR plans to replace or upgrade seven other bridges as part of the third track project to modernize its transportation infrastructure.

“It will remake the Long Island Rail Road for the next generation,” Cuomo said.

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