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Port Washington LIRR station to get temporary pedestrian bridge

Commuters walk from a Long Island Rail Road

Commuters walk from a Long Island Rail Road train at the Port Washington station on Nov. 15, 2013. Credit: Steve Pfost

The Long Island Rail Road will build a temporary extension to a pedestrian bridge at the Port Washington station to allow access from Haven Avenue, the agency said.

The extension is to be installed this summer and open in September, LIRR officials said in a news release.

An existing Haven Avenue pedestrian bridge was closed in April because concrete had fallen from it onto the track area, cutting off access to the station. An inspection showed extensive corrosion, officials reported. The agency closed the bridge indefinitely, saying parts of it were unsuitable for continued use and irreparable.

The temporary structure is to be made of modular, prefabricated materials.

"We understand the significant inconvenience that the loss of the Haven Avenue overpass is causing our customers," LIRR president Patrick Nowakowski said in the release. "I am pleased that we've been able to find a temporary solution that we will be able to put in place within a matter of months to better serve customers and the Port Washington community."

North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in a statement that "it's important that we address the safety and quality of life of our Port Washington commuters and this proposal addresses both."

Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio said the limited access to Haven Avenue was "a safety issue. . . . It would take people a really long time to exit, creating a lot of congestion."

The LIRR is continuing talks with town officials and community leaders about a plan to extend two tracks at the station. That proposal would include replacing the pedestrian bridges.

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