New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Regional Director Subi Chakraborti announced the completion of the $24.3 million Roslyn Road rail crossing elimination project in the Village of Mineola. In addition to the newly constructed travel lanes in both the northbound and southbound directions on Roslyn Road under the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) tracks, the project provides a new Willis Avenue-Roslyn Road connector road and 120 new municipal parking spaces.
"The completion of this multifaceted, complex project produces multiple safety, mobility and environmental benefits to Long Island motorists, local residents and businesses and LIRR commuters," Chakraborti said. "Most important is the elimination of potentially hazardous conflicts and associated traffic tie-ups between approximately 200 LIRR trains and the average 16,000 vehicles per day that use this crossing. Improved air quality through better traffic flow, new sidewalks and crossing facilities for pedestrians, quicker emergency response times and new drainage structures that eliminate frequent area flooding are additional key project benefits that the community will enjoy for decades to come. This project could not have been achieved without the patience, cooperation and valuable contributions from civic groups, community members, local governments, and local and state public officials. "
The project, which began in the summer of 2005 and required excavation under the active LIRR tracks for the new roadway and the installation of a 365-ton steel railroad bridge, was constructed in three stages. The first stage involved the demolition of buildings, extensive utility relocations and significant drainage work. During the second stage, temporary bridge supports, a new roadway under the bridge, new storm water recharge basins and a new connector road between Willis Avenue and Roslyn Road north of the LIRR tracks were constructed. The third and final stage involved removal of the LIRR Roslyn Road crossing gates, removal of the old roadway, completion of retaining walls, additional drainage work, installation of new sidewalks and landscaping, final road paving and striping, and installation of new road signs. Only minor finishing work remains.
Substantial coordination among the NYSDOT, the LIRR and local officials resulted in a construction strategy that minimized impacts on motorists, residents and businesses and to LIRR service on one of the busiest commuter rail lines in the United States. Maintaining the LIRR tracks and constructing the new bridge while accommodating an average of 200 trains per day required the installation of a 73-foot temporary railroad bridge to keep LIRR service intact while the permanent bridge was constructed. During construction, the LIRR tracks were out of service for only three days the last weekend in August 2007, with service restored in time for the busy workday commuter schedule. The project was completed by Posillico Civil, Inc. of Farmingdale under contract with NYSDOT.