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Exclusive: Station Plaza Drainage Project On Schedule

Project expected to be completed in July

Flooding issues around Station Plaza in Mineola have hindered its function in times of heavy rainfall. Possible solutions date back years, most recently in 2010 when the Village of Mineola met with Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) officials to hammer out details.

Talks have been ongoing and a piece of the puzzle is finally falling into place.

Village officials exclusively revealed to the Mineola American the progress on the ongoing Station Plaza Drainage Project to address flooding in commuter parking lot adjacent to the LIRR station in Mineola. The project began on Monday, May 7 and has progressed steadily, according to Public Works Superintendent Tom Rini.

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.

The parking lots receive most storm water runoff in the area, according to Rini. The village is going to install 15 10-by-20 foot diffusion wells, interconnected with new pipes and four existing drainage pipes currently in use. This will provide all the drainage straight into the groud.

“That’s a pretty good amount of storage,” Rini said. “I was down there checking it out to see what we’re draining into and it will secure the problem for quite some time.”

Mineola, in conjunction with the LIRR and LIPA, will address flooding issues with the village’s parking area, the LIRR’s pedestrian walkways and elevator flood risks on the south side of the railroad tracks and LIPA’s overhead and under-track power crossing the area in proximity to the train station.

“We’re affecting Winthrop’s exit out from their parking lot, but everything is being done to mitigate disruptions,” Rini said. “We’ll coordinate that with them.”

Rini met recently with the LIRR and representatives of Winthrop-University Hospital. Winthrop’s deliveries occur in that area as well as garbage pickup, Rini noted.

LIRR representatives would not comment on construction, indicating it’s not an LIRR project, but is monitoring developments.

“We’ve been able to work out with the hospital, some arrangements to move forward with the project and accommodate their needs,” Rini stated.

The village had to close off part of the area near Winthrop, but indicated it has not impacted commuter traffic. A hospital spokesman stated the construction has had no ill effects on the day-to-day operations of Winthrop.

The project started in Parking Field 1, the smaller lot north of the railroad tracks and will finish with Parking Field 7, which runs right along the tracks. The village received the permit from the LIRR to work on three flood basins, even though it’s on village property.

“We’ll have to do a bit of pipe work but we’ll be able to work that out as well,” Rini said.

Rini indicated that there should be no delays to the project.

“That’s why we’ll be starting in Parking Field 1 and making our way around towards the station house,” Rini said, stating signs are posted around the area in question for safety reasons and to notify pedestrians of ongoing construction work.