Written by Cory Twibell: email@example.com Friday, 25 May 2012 00:00
The MTA Long Island Rail Road announced on Monday, May 21, that $211.5 worth of capital improvements – dubbed the MTA Capital Plan – will result in major renovations at the Hicksville train station, a new bridge on Ellison Avenue in the Village of Westbury and drainage improvements in Mineola.
The plan comes at a time when civic groups in Hicksville are revitalizing the downtown area; the Westbury Performing Arts Center is slated to open in the fall and nearby Ellison Avenue links two major thoroughfares (Old Country Road and Jericho Turnpike); and the Village of Mineola is battling ongoing drainage issues at its own high-volume station.
MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said, “In the short term, construction means jobs, something that the MTA has provided continually over many years. Long term, these projects link to East Side Access, America’s biggest public works project and one that promises to shave commuting time and make Long Island more attractive for living and doing business.”
Of the $106.6 million devoted to the Hicksville train station, one of the LIRR’s busiest, $55.1 million will go toward what the MTA describes as a “facelift,” which includes new station platforms, waiting rooms, canopies, stairways, lighting, elevators, escalators and a digital audio communication system.
The LIRR set aside $37.7 million for an additional 3,000 feet of new track, along with power and signal work, which will enable the LIRR to add three morning and evening peak service trains between Hicksville and Grand Central Terminal once the East Side Access project is completed. The additional track will improve the railroad’s ability to reroute trains due to maintenance, construction or service disruptions, according to an MTA press release.
Long Island Rail Road President Helena Williams said, “These projects will improve our service reliability in a critical stretch of the LIRR. The signal and siding improvements at Hicksville will benefit thousands of customers who pass through this junction each day while the station improvements will make for a brighter commute for our Hicksville customers and we welcome community input as we go forward.”
The LIRR will also spend $13.8 million to modernize the signal system at the Divide Tower located just east of the Hicksville station, which controls all train movement on the Huntington/Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma branches east of Hicksville.
“I’m pleased to see that there are both aesthetic and service improvements slated for the Hicksville LIRR station. It makes sense to improve both the appearance and the operation of the station since so many residents use it. I’m glad the railroad has made Hicksville a priority,” New York State Senator Jack Martins said.
An ongoing issue for residents and village officials for many years, the Ellison Avenue Bridge in Westbury will be demolished and rebuilt as part of the MTA’s Capital Plan.
The bridge, built in 1941, will be environmentally reviewed this year with contracts tentatively to be awarded in 2013 and completion set for the end 2014.
Westbury Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro said that the village has fought to have the bridge replaced for nearly two decades, but Cavallaro expressed his relief now that a plan is finally in place.
“The replacement of the bridge will cause some inconvenience to our residents during the construction phase, but we are already working on, and have developed, a preliminary road closure plan. We will be sharing more details with [residents] as the project nears.
“In the meantime, we are very grateful to Senator Jack Martins and LIRR President Helena Williams for finally addressing this very pressing need of our community,” Cavallaro said.
The mayor also thanked former Village Mayor Ernie Strada and Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., chairman of the transportation committee and a Westbury native, who teamed with Senator Martins over the years on the bridge project.
“The reconstruction of the Ellison Avenue Bridge has been a long time coming. Because of the efforts of Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro advocating for his community and the commitment of LIRR President Helena Williams, there is finally funding being directed toward this important project. The Village of Westbury deserves to have this bridge rebuilt and we will hold the railroad to its commitment,” Senator Martins said.
The project will include an improved drainage system along the north side of the Mineola Station to correct a problem has historically been plagued by flooding. The LIRR is working with the Village of Mineola on potential track and station improvements that will improve pedestrian flow.
According to The Mineola American, the project includes a new underground drainage system, regraded and resurfaced parking lot, new lighting and walkways. Village staffers revealed the project was funded in large part through the $524,000 community block development grant Mineola applied for last month. The project is expected to last two months. The finished product will function as two new commuter parking lots, new curbs and catch basins to service water into new water wells.
LIRR’s Williams called the drainage work and bridge replacement “key projects that will benefit the Main Line and the local communities.”
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
Hicksville School District Superintendent Maureen Bright gave an overall picture of the district profile at the school board meeting last Wednesday night. The meeting was the final one before the upcoming budget vote, which will take place on Tuesday, May 21 at Hicksville High School from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The total number for the 2013-14 proposed budget is $124,595,008. This is a 3.29 percent increase or $3,963,375 from the 2012-13 school year. In 2012-13 the total budget was $120,631,633.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
On Saturday, May 11 the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of Nassau County held their Annual POW/MIA Remembrance Ceremony at St. Frances de Chantal Parish in Wantagh. This is the 15th year for the ceremony, originally started by the late Tom Benet and the late Vincent Esposito as a way to honor those military brethren who are still listed as prisoners of war (POW), or missing in action (MIA).
Rick Gales, Town of Hempstead Veteran Affairs liaison, quartermaster of the Elmont VFW, and Nassau County Chairman of the POW/MIA Committee continues the tradition and told Anton Newspapers that the POW/MIA ceremonies are usually held in April or May, coinciding with the fall of Vietnam and the end of a war era.
In 2010, the Department of Defense reported more than 1,700 Vietnam era soldiers as POW/MIA status.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00James Russo, 11, of Hicksville, came in sixth place in the States Competition at 120lbs. Ryan Schecht, 11, of Hicksville, placed third in the States at 105lbs, and is on his way to the Nationals Championship.
Thursday, 09 May 2013 00:00
Seasonal beach stickers may be purchased beginning on Saturday, May 11, so that residents may get their beach stickers ahead of time and avoid the rush during the Memorial Day weekend, when some town beaches will open for weekends.
“So many residents enjoy the beautiful beaches that we have here in the Town of Oyster Bay and eagerly look forward to the first opportunity to enjoy those beaches during the Memorial Day weekend,” Councilman Joseph Pinto said. “Town residents, who purchase a town beach sticker in advance of the beaches opening, will avoid the possibility of waiting in line during opening weekend.”