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Bridge replacement projects, starting next week, to impact Montauk commuters

A school bus drives under the LIRR overpass

A school bus drives under the LIRR overpass at North Main Street in East Hampton. The LIRR plans to upgrade the bridge so trucks can pass underneath safely. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

A pair of bridge replacement projects in East Hampton will shut down LIRR service for some Montauk Branch commuters for nearly a month beginning next week, railroad officials said.

Replacing the 124-year-old Accabonac Road and North Main Street bridges will require suspending Long Island Rail Road service east of Southampton around the clock from Tuesday until Nov. 10. During that period, buses will replace trains at Bridgehampton, East Hampton, Amagansett and Montauk.

The railroad advised customers to expect additional travel time, and for westbound buses to depart earlier than the usual trains, to allow for scheduled train connections at Southampton.

The projects will cost a total of $21 million and are funded in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 2015-19 Capital Program. The projects aim to elevate the low-hanging bridges, which railroad officials said are prone to accidents caused by trucks striking them. The North Main Street bridge has a clearance of 10 feet, while the Accabonac Road bridge, about 500 feet east, has a clearance of 9 feet, 9 inches.

“In 2015, there were nine incidents in which vehicles struck the overpasses, reiterating the need to improve safety and reliability for both vehicles and LIRR passengers by replacing these low-hanging bridges,” the railroad said in a statement. “The LIRR will raise the vertical roadway clearance of these bridges with the installation of new single-span steel bridge structures. The new height clearance will allow trucks to safely pass underneath the bridges.”

The work also has resulted in alternating road closures at North Main Street and Accabonac Road that began Oct. 2 and are expected to continue until at least Nov. 10.

More information is available through the LIRR’s website, mta.info/lirr.

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