The addition of the 9.8 mile track along the Long Island Rail Road’s Main Line is fast approaching. The LIRR Expansion project, or what some call the Third Track project, will have an effect on many Nassau County communities including the Village of Mineola. Sometime this year as well as next year, village residents will start to see the elimination of the Main Street and Willis Avenue grade crossings as well as the erection of a parking garage between First Street and Harrison Avenue.
In the spring of 2016, the village board commissioned a parking study by Old Bethpage-based Level G Associates to find ways to alleviate parking problems that residents and people who worked in the area faced. Level G Associates’ study recommended the construction of the five-story parking garage that is currently underway. Some might remember a previous parking garage that occupied the same location, but was torn down because the structure had deteriorated.
Dubbed the Mineola Harrison Garage project, the LIRR along with the 3rd Track Constructors (3TC) started preliminary construction last Thursday. The current parking lot will be closed for construction to build the five-story state-of-the-art parking garage that will house 537 parking spaces. The New York State and Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) funded parking garage is expected to be completed within the next 18 to 24 months.
The new garage will represent an increase of more than 400 parking spaces serving Mineola train station commuters, village residents and visitors.
“Currently that ground lot serves about 130 spots,” said Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira, who addressed the issue at the most recent village board meeting. “We are certainly going to be gaining a number of much needed spots in that downtown area. But of course with that comes the pain of nearly two years of construction.
Construction will take place between 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily with the first eight months of construction involving external work while the remaining 16 months will be predominantly within the structure.
Due to the construction of such a large structure, residents can expect traffic delays throughout the area. When necessary, 3TC, will provide cones, flagmen and signage at the work site where there will be occasional partial lane closures at First Street and Harrison Avenue. Third Avenue is also expected to have daily partial lane closures as well.
Besides providing necessary signage, 3TC is also providing alternate parking locations during construction in cooperation with the village. Residents can find alternate parking at an existing lot that is adjacent to the ball field at Willis Avenue and Copley Court as well as Station Road between Fifth and Eighth Avenues.
The construction of another parking garage may be imminent near Second Street and Main Street.
For more information about the installation of the upcoming third track and 3TC’s various projects, residents can call the 24/7 Community Hotline at 516-203-4955, email CommunityOutreach@3rdTC.com, or check out the website www.thirdtrackLI.com. There is also a Community Information Center at 114 Old Country Rd. in Mineola, which is by appointment only.