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Long IslandTransportation

LIRR eliminating grade crossing, replacing with new bridge over Covert Avenue

Workers on Friday prepare for this weekend's installation

Workers on Friday prepare for this weekend's installation of a Long Island Rail Road bridge over Covert Avenue in New Hyde Park. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The LIRR will eliminate another grade crossing this weekend when it erects a new rail bridge over Covert Avenue in New Hyde Park.

To accommodate the work, there will be no Long Island Rail Road service Saturday and Sunday between New Hyde Park and Hicksville.

It will be the fourth time this summer a bridge is installed on the Main Line — as part of the LIRR's $2.6 billion expansion project, which includes construction of a 10-mile third track between Floral Park and Hicksville.

This weekend’s project will require workers to excavate beneath the existing tracks, then — using 12 hydraulic jacks capable of moving 2,400 tons — insert a prefabricated, 36.5-foot long bridge into place. The MTA first used the method during the installation of a new bridge at Urban Avenue in Westbury last month.

Once the bridge is in place, workers will reinstall tracks and other support systems in order to restore train service in time for the Monday morning commute, the LIRR said.

The Covert Avenue crossing has been closed to traffic since April. The roadway will reopen this fall as a two-lane underpass, with a pedestrian sidewalk, running under the LIRR’s tracks.

LIRR president Phillip Eng last week called the Covert Avenue project “a major milestone” for the railroad.

“This reconstructed grade crossing has been designed in conjunction with the Village of New Hyde Park, with feedback from local residents, commuters, and elected officials, and will enhance safety and provide for a quieter and more livable community along the railroad,” the LIRR said in a statement.

Other branches also will see service changes this weekend, including the Hempstead Branch, where service will be increased from hourly to half hourly to provide an alternative for displaced Main Line customers.

The railroad said full schedules are available through its various real-time information sources, including myLIRR.org, MTA.info, and the LIRR’s email and text messaging alerts system.

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