An estimated 40,000 Long Island Rail Road customers could face considerable delays over the weekend of Saturday, Oct. 24 and Sunday, Oct. 25 when the rail road suspends train service on the main line between Hicksville and Mineola for the installation of a new bridge in Westbury.
See Below For a List of Changes
The outage will impact the Port Jefferson and the Ronkonkoma branches, with customers facing 40-60 minutes of extra travel time because bus service will be replacing train service between Hicksville and Mineola. It will have significantly less impact on other branches, which make them a better option for Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma branch customers.
“We strongly urge our customers to avoid the Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson branches during the weekend of Oct. 24-25,” said LIRR President Patrick A. Nowakowski. “Please use the Babylon, Far Rockaway, Hempstead, Long Beach, Montauk, Port Washington, Oyster Bay or West Hempstead branches to avoid busing and delays. ”
The LIRR is installing the new bridge as part of a $17.5 million project to improve safety for railroad customers as well as the thousands of motorists and pedestrians who use the span each day. The project includes replacement of the bridge, a new roadway, sidewalks, curbs, fencing and paving and is being financed by the MTA Capital Program.
The LIRR suspended train service for the Ellison Avenue Bridge project in May when the old bridge was demolished. The new bridge is scheduled to open for vehicular traffic by April 2016 and all construction activities, including site restoration, will be completed by June 2016.
“The cooperation of our customers was outstanding when the old structure came down,” said Nowakowski. “We gave them plenty of advance notice and many chose alternate routes or just stayed home. Once again we are asking for their help. Avoid the main line and the inconvenience of changing from train to bus to train by going to the nearest alternative branch.”
Summary Of Changes
• Buses replace trains between Hicksville and Mineola.
•mBethpage customers will be bused between Mineola and Hicksville.
• Ronkonkoma through Farmingdale customers will travel to and from Penn Station by train without transfers, as trains will be diverted via the Central & Babylon Branches.
Port Jefferson Branch
• Buses replace trains between Hicksville and Mineola for the entire weekend.
• Trains between Huntington and Port Jefferson will operate every two hours.
• Service between Huntington and Penn Station will operate hourly.
• Carle Place and Westbury will be served by buses only.
Other LIRR Projects
In addition to the bridge work, the LIRR will take advantage of the 48-hour train service suspension by performing other critical work in the vicinity during the outage. These additional efforts will include track work and drainage improvements between Mineola and Hicksville and replacement of the 12th Street crossing in New Hyde Park. To accommodate the grade crossing improvement work, vehicular traffic will be diverted from 12th Street to Covert Avenue and New Hyde Park Road for the entire weekend.
Special Timetable for Your Branch
For the revised train times in effect during the Oct. 24-25 weekend, customers should pick up a copy of the special timetable for their branch or view it online here.
A reminder that during the construction of the new Ellison Avenue Bridge, only local traffic is allowed on Ellison Avenue Other vehicles must detour to Post Avenue and Cherry Lane in Westbury.
Parking at Hicksville Station
The Town of Oyster Bay parking lot on the north side of Hicksville Station will be closed on Saturday, Oct. 24 and Sunday, Oct, 25 to accommodate buses transporting customers between Hicksville and Mineola. Parking will be available in the town parking garage just east of Hicksville Station.
The LIRR has also printed a special brochure dubbed “Ellison Avenue Bridge Installation,” which follows this story, details the project and includes some helpful maps. The latest information on LIRR service is available here or by signing up for free customer service alerts via email or text here.
Customers may also call 511, the New York State Travel Information line, and say: Long Island Rail Road to reach a customer service representative. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your relay service provider or the free 711 relay to reach LIRR at 511.