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Fixes to Huntington's LIRR parking garage

The south parking structure has cracked concrete throughout

The south parking structure has cracked concrete throughout the garage at Huntington Station. (Aug. 20, 2012) Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

After years of wear and weather exposure, the Long Island Rail Road Huntington Station south parking garage is showing its age -- and set to receive a face-lift.

The town board recently approved a $962,000 contract with Structural Preservation Systems Llc of Long Island City to begin fixing the town-owned, three-decades-old structure, in the first of a multiphase renovation project. Repairs to the north garage were completed last year.

"All the concrete repairs, any cracks that are evident will be chipped away," said Steve McGloin, the town's director of transportation and traffic safety. He said cracks will be opened, sealed and filled in, "so it doesn't crack again . . . It will be absolutely necessary structural components."

He said later phases will address other issues, the biggest of which is waterproofing the five-level 392,000-square-foot garage. "Once the repairs are made, then we are going to put a waterproofing membrane down to prevent this from happening again," McGloin said.

He said the problems stem from moisture migrating to where it doesn't belong after salt used for de-icing in the winter accelerates concrete corrosion.

In fall 2008, after cracked beams led to the closure of the 1,400-space garage near the LIRR station in Oyster Bay, Huntington hired engineering firm Desman Associates of Manhattan to evaluate the south parking garage, which was built in 1981 and has 1,200 parking spaces.

Huntington's resulting survey, issued in 2009, found the reinforced concrete structure was in fair to poor condition, due to age and corrosion-related deterioration. The report said there is a need for structural concrete repairs, removal and replacement of deteriorated concrete surfaces, installation of new expansion joints, stair tread, concrete repairs and a preventive maintenance program, among other things, at a cost of $2.5 million.

Town board member Susan Berland, who with colleague Mark Mayoka, sponsored the resolution for the Structural Preservation Systems contract, said the delay between getting the survey and starting the work was due to coordinating funding. "We have a grant through the Federal Transit Administration, and the balance will come from the town," Berland said.

Structural Preservation Systems, was the lowest bidder to respond to the town's request.

"These necessary repairs will appreciably extend the useful life of the south parking garage and provide additional safety for the residents who utilize it," Mayoka said.

McGloin said the contract should be signed in the next few weeks with work beginning soon after. He said about 100 parking spaces at a time will be inaccessible during the project.

Nancy Berg, a member of the Friends of Huntington Train Station, a group that organized a few years ago over safety, cleanliness and convenience issues, welcomed news of the updates. "It's great that they are doing something. It should be fixed. But I don't understand how a relatively new structure like that needed fixing so soon," she said.

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