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Brentwood LIRR walkway torn down after drug, gang complaints

A sign at a closed overpass in Brentwood,

A sign at a closed overpass in Brentwood, Sept. 27, 2016. Credit: Ed Betz

A troublesome overpass above the Long Island Rail Road tracks and adjacent to a middle school in Brentwood has been torn down.

The MTA had the elevated pedestrian walkway taken down by a crane on Jan. 12, after it was shuttered in September in response to complaints about drug and gang activity on the structure that leads across the tracks to East Middle School.

It took nearly five hours to disassemble the structure, which was taken down in several parts in between passing scheduled trains, said Aaron Donovan, an MTA spokesman.
The MTA erected an 8-foot-high fence in September to close off the bridge, and it will remain there to secure the property, Donovan said.

The tracks sit on the northern property line of the school, and the overpass links school property to a parking lot that leads to Suffolk Avenue.

Suffolk County Legis. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood), a former assistant principal at the middle school, said she first contacted the MTA after taking office in 2014 to relay concerns about the overpass. Students met last summer with MTA officials and submitted petitions with 200 student signatures asking them to close the structure for their own safety.

“It took three years to get this done, but it felt so good to see it come down,” Martinez said Friday about the demolition. “It was such a community effort. There were so many people involved, and we stuck together and made it happen.”

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