The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has completed the replacement of the 108-year-old Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) bridge over Nassau Boulevard in Garden City. The new bridge, completed over a 55-hour time period, will reduce truck accidents, improve on-time performance, and carry a third bay. The bay is for a third track, which will be added in 2022 to expand the LIRR’s capacity.
“We have four more existing bridges to replace and six more at-grade crossings to eliminate over the next 35 months,” said Janno Lieber, MTA chief development officer. “The LIRR Expansion Project is moving forward at an extraordinary pace, which is why it is the model project for how we are changing the way we manage large capital projects to do them smarter, faster and better.”
The new bridge was assembled in place adjacent to the site, with crews moving it into place after the old bridge was demolished. LIRR crews rebuilt the track atop the bridge, reconnecting the existing two tracks. The new bridge is 2½ feet higher than the older bridge, allowing trucks to pass safely underneath.
“With each element of the LIRR Expansion Project that is completed our railroad gets a little bit healthier and less prone to potential challenges,” remarked LIRR President Phillip Eng. “Even before the third main line track is placed we are receiving benefits, because raising the height of bridges prevents over-height trucks from striking the bridges, which creates train delays.”
This is the fifth major bridge or grade crossing project to be completed over the past 17 weeks along the LIRR’s Main Line as part of the LIRR Expansion Project.