LIRR third-track project is ahead of schedule, MTA says

One year into construction, the MTA's project to add a third track to the Long Island Rail Road is ahead of schedule.

Deputy project director Tom McGuinness has been on the multi-billion-dollar expansion since the groundbreaking in the fall of 2018. He said that last year the MTA constructed sound and retaining walls and under-grade crossings to rebuild the railroad and foster economic growth.

"We replaced three bridges, we eliminated two grade crossings improving the safety for the railroad and the users of the local streets," he said.

At any given time, as many as a thousand people are on the job, McGuinness said.

On Wednesday at Merillon Avenue in Garden City, workers built up the trackbed and carefully placed reinforced concrete on columns that will one day serve as a platform.

McGuinness said it is all about careful choreography, especially when bridge and underpass work is being done.

"Everyone has a place, everyone has a task," McGuinness said. "We have a schedule broken down into 15-minute increments."

Over in Mineola, crews finished upgrading the Nassau switch to allow trains to be guided from one track to another once the third track is complete between Floral Park and Hicksville.

Next month, the MTA will close New Hyde Park Road to install a five-lane underpass. Other big projects for this year include bridge installations in Floral Park and Carle Place. The full project is slated for completion by late 2022.


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