The reconstruction of an aging Long Island Rail Road bridge over Denton Avenue has been delayed amid a dispute between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Village of Garden City, transit officials said.
The crossing is the seventh and final bridge that needs to be renovated as part of the massive LIRR Expansion Project, which is slated to be completed in 2022.
In a July 28 statement to the community, the LIRR Expansion Project team said it was waiting for Garden City officials to issue permits needed to start work on the bridge.
MTA officials also pointed to a lawsuit the village filed earlier this year accusing the state-run transit agency of being deceptive when it installed giant steel utility poles that are raised 93 feet above the ground and standing over neighborhoods. In July, state Supreme Court Judge Diccia Pineda-Kirwan dismissed the case.
“While that lawsuit pertained to a separate issue, we are optimistic that its dismissal will facilitate approval of these delayed permits,” the LIRR Expansion Project team said in its statement.
Residents in neighboring villages have also complained about construction from the LIRR project, which started in 2018 along a 9.8-mile stretch of the railroad between Floral Park and Hicksville.
Gina Martinez, who lives adjacent to a construction site in Floral Park, told village officials in July that representatives from the joint-venture firm responsible for the work “have been deceitful from day one in communicating their work plan and how long it would last to the village and to the residents.”
MTA officials have touted the wide range of benefits that the major infrastructure project will bring to communities along the railroad, including improved flow of traffic on local roads, reduced noise and reliable rail services.
Eight street-level railroad crossings in the project corridor have been eliminated, six other bridges have been renovated and upgrades are underway at multiple stations along the corridor, officials said.
The LIRR Expansion Project Team acknowledged some parts of the project have lagged, but said the work is nevertheless still on schedule and under budget.
“We remain on time and on budget and are determined to keep it that way,” the officials said. “It hasn’t always been easy to have us in your neighborhood, and we’re grateful for your commitment, understanding, and patience.”