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LIRR to replace battered Post Ave. Bridge this weekend

The Long Island Rail Road logo is shown

The Long Island Rail Road logo is shown on the side of a LIRR commuter train, Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at Long Beach branch in Long Beach. Credit: AP / Kathy Willens

The low-hanging Post Avenue Bridge in Westbury, hit scores of times over the years by trucks, will be replaced this weekend by a bridge two feet higher that should allow trucks to pass underneath without harm to the trucks or the LIRR bridge.

The weekend-long project will mean no Long Island Rail Road service Saturday and Sunday between Hicksville and Mineola, a change in schedules for all branches and the rerouting of vehicular traffic around Post Avenue, officials said.

The revised schedules could cause delays of up to an hour for some weekend riders, and bicycles will not be permitted on trains or replacement buses, the railroad said.

The railroad has posted special timetables on its website — mta.info — and “strongly urged” riders to avoid the Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson branches on Saturday and Sunday.

If possible, riders should use the Babylon, Far Rockaway, Hempstead, Long Beach, Montauk, Oyster Bay, Port Washington or West Hempstead branches to avoid busing and delays, the LIRR said.

Workers will begin site preparation Friday, possibly causing delays of up to 20 minutes on nighttime trains between Mineola and Hicksville, the LIRR said.

Riders going to events this weekend at Barclays Center in Brooklyn or Madison Square Garden in Manhattan should try to use South Shore branches, the railroad said.

Motorists should avoid Post Avenue in Westbury, which will be closed between Railroad Avenue and Union Avenue from 8 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Monday, the railroad said.

The LIRR issued the following advisory for the most affected branches:

  • Ronkonkoma Branch

Saturday and Sunday, from 7 a.m. through midnight, Ronkonkoma through Farmingdale customers will travel to/from Penn Station on diverted trains traveling along a zigzag route via the Babylon and Central branches. Bethpage customers will be provided with bus service. During the overnight hours between midnight and 7 a.m., Ronkonkoma Branch customers will be bused between Mineola and Hicksville. Bethpage customers will be provided with bus service. During the overnight hours between midnight and 7 a.m., Ronkonkoma Branch customers will be bused between Mineola and Hicksville.

  • Port Jefferson Branch

Buses replace trains between Hicksville and Mineola for the entire weekend. Trains between Huntington and Port Jefferson will run every two hours instead of the usual 90-minute intervals. Service between Huntington and Penn Station will operate once per hour instead of the usual 30-minute intervals. Carle Place and Westbury will be served by buses only.

The Post Avenue Bridge has been struck by trucks about 80 times in the past decade, officials said.

The new bridge will have a clearance of 14 feet — 2 feet and 2 inches higher than the current one, officials said.

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