The heavy work needed for the Long Island Rail Road’s third track project in Mineola will be done by the fall of 2021, construction representatives said at a Mineola village board meeting last Wednesday.
“Since we’ve last been here, we have made some really big strides on this project,” Third Track Constructors (3TC) spokeswoman Leslie Mesnick said.
This only includes 3TC’s portion of the work as the MTA will need to continue to do ongoing work for the third track to be put in by the end of 2022.
A full road closure at Willis Avenue between 3rd Street and 2nd Street is expected to begin around the first week of January for six months, 3TC spokesman Travis Brennan said.
Brennan said that preliminary work like pile driving and excavation has already started in the area for the grading crossing elimination project. This work will last about eight weeks, when the closure will begin, he said.
Work being done for the Harrison Avenue parking garage will be complete by Nov. 6, Brennan said.
“This will be the first parking project that we will substantially complete and hand over [to the MTA and village],” Brennan said. “We’re hopeful and excited that people will be utilizing that garage by year’s end if not sooner.”
The five-level, 551-space parking garage has been constructed to replace the former surface parking lot area west of Mineola Boulevard between Harrison Avenue and First Street, the MTA said in a previous statement. The new garage will represent a net increase of 446 parking spaces.
In regard to the new Mineola train station’s permanent platforms, 3TC is aiming for a completion date of fall 2021, Brennan said.
However, until the third track is actually laid down in 2022, Mineola residents will have to continue to use the temporary train platforms built for use during the project, he said.
Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said that the update revealing that all the heavy work for the third track will be done in the next nine to 10 months was “great news.”
“Although they have been already been working in the area for many months the bulk of the work is just getting started,” Strauss said. “There will be more road closings coming and for longer periods of time, but we didn’t and don’t have a choice.”
Strauss urged residents once again to shop at Mineola’s local businesses to keep them alive through the COVID-19 pandemic and heavy amount of third track work.
MTA officials reported that the LIRR project is “ahead of schedule” and “under budget” as the project reached its halfway point in early October.
By the end of the project, eight grade crossings will be eliminated, seven bridges will be replaced or expanded, and five stations will be completely rebuilt along the 10 miles that the third track will be installed from Floral Park to Hicksville.
“This critical project has already delivered substantial improvements to our infrastructure that have translated into better service for our customers, and we’re excited for all that’s to come,” LIRR President Phil Eng said in a previous statement.
Projects like these will also help neighboring communities, foster economic growth, and ultimately help the region rebound and rebuild during the COVID-19 pandemic, Eng said.