Friday, April 30, 2010

Bridge project, track inspection to disrupt LIRR weekend service

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Bridge project, track inspection to disrupt LIRR weekend service | Railway Track & Structures

Buses will replace train service for Long Island Rail Road customers traveling between Long Beach and Valley Stream May 1-2 as work continues on the construction of two new railroad bridges over Powell Creek and Hog Island Channel. The $24.5-million project, which is funded through the MTA Capital Budget and federal grants, will also require another train outage on the weekend of May 15-16. The railroad's goal is to complete the installation of both bridges before Memorial Day.

Both the Powell Creek Bridge (located between the LIRR's East Rockaway and Oceanside Stations) and the Hog Island Channel Bridge (located between Oceanside and Island Park Stations) were built in the 1920s, and have served the LIRR well for nearly 90 years. These two bridges are being replaced as part of the Railroad's ongoing efforts to modernize its infrastructure and ensure safe and reliable service for our customers and neighbors for decades to come.

The existing Powell Creek and Hog Island Bridges are open-deck wooden and steel structures supported by wooden piles through which water is visible below. These structures will be removed and replaced with pre-cast concrete structures, supported by reinforced concrete-filled, steel pipe piles, which will provide safer, closed-deck concrete roadbeds.

The project will also alleviate a recurring flooding condition at Powell Creek Bridge, which has at times led to delays and temporary service suspensions, by raising the elevation of the bridge by approximately one foot. Bridge walkways will also be installed at both locations to make it safer for LIRR employees.

LIRR will provide bus service in place of trains east of Farmingdale on the Ronkonkoma Branch during the early morning of May 8. Track inspections will be made by the Sperry Rail Car between 12:45 a.m. and 6:39 a.m.

The Sperry Rail Car, a bright yellow vehicle fitted with ultrasonic and induction test equipment, is designed to detect internal rail defects not readily visible to the eye. Defects that are found will be corrected immediately by a crew of LIRR track maintenance workers. The Sperry Rail Car is used twice a year to inspect approximately 500 miles of LIRR track.

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