The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) third track project is coming full force to Mineola this month when 3TC, which is the design-build contractors for the project, will be working on Willis Avenue to start the removal process of the avenue’s grade crossing. With the preparation work underway, residents and commuters who pass through the village should expect to experience some road delays as well. Alternate routes will be further analyzed when the complete closure of Willis Avenue happens this spring.
The new Willis Avenue will feature a two-way grade-separated underpass with an elevator and pedestrian bridge, and will provide a one-way service road on the west side of Willis Avenue and connect northbound Willis Avenue to eastbound Hinck Way. It will also connect the businesses between the LIRR main line and the LIRR Oyster Bay Branch. In addition, the intersection of Willis Avenue and Third Street will include a traffic signal to ensure safety according to 3TC.
The grade crossing gates at Willis Avenue are in the down position 43 percent and 50 percent during morning and night peak periods, respectively. The need for grade crossing eliminations is also driven by the fact that there were six fatal crashes at grade crossing locations along the main line between 2007-17.
Construction teams from 3TC, National Grid, PSEG Long Island, Verizon, Altice, and Light Tower or their respective contractors will start to relocate above and below ground utilities, which will occur on Willis Avenue from 3rd Street to Front Street south of the rail road tracks. Due to the installation and relocation, a single lane closure on Willis Avenue will occur, allowing for southbound traffic only, while access to 3rd Street and Front Street from Willis Avenue will be closed down. Those two roads will be accessible to two-way traffic from Roslyn Road.
When it comes to the five-story Harrison Avenue parking garage, which is expected to be completely finished this summer, the installation of plumbing will continue as well as electrical and mechanical units. Installation of the steel framing for elevators will also occur at the site. Crews will continue to work Monday through Saturday, from approximately 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with no night work anticipated. The new parking garage will be a welcomed addition to village residents and to people who shop downtown or visit patients at NYU Winthrop Hospital since the issue of parking has been a hot topic for many years now. The garage will represent a net increase of 446 parking spaces serving the Mineola station.
For more information about the third track and 3TC’s various projects, residents can call the Community Hotline at 516-203-4955, email CommunityOutreach@LIRRExpansion.com, or visit the website www.amodernli.com. There is also a Community Information Center at 114 Old Country Rd. in Mineola, which now has walk-in hours on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesdays from 12 to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.