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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bridge replacement work to affect LIRR Oyster Bay Branch

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Vans will replace trains between Oyster Bay and Locust Valley on the MTA Long Island Rail Road's Oyster Bay Branch November 21-22 as work continues on the replacement of the West Shore Road railroad bridge in Mill Neck. While the work is performed this weekend, West Shore Road will remain open for highway traffic, there will be no detour route required.

The Shore Road Bridge replacement project is part of the LIRR's regular bridge maintenance and modernization program. This bridge was first installed in 1910 and has served the LIRR's Oyster Bay Branch well for nearly a century.

The track between Oyster Bay and Locust Valley will be out of service beginning Friday, November 20 at 10:01 p.m. through Monday, November 23 at 2:01 a.m. Van service will replace trains between Oyster Bay and Locust Valley.

Thirty-four passenger trains (17 eastbound and 17 westbound) travel over this bridge daily. Approximately 1,900 customers use the Oyster Bay Branch each day.

Bridge replacement became a priority in recent years due to the structure's age and because of structural damage from vehicular strikes, a reported seven strikes since 2002 and numerous unreported strikes over the years. The new structure will be raised approximately 14 inches to approximately 13-feet seven inches highway clearance. Funding for this project, approximately $3.4 million, is provided by the Federal Transit Administration.

The work includes replacement of the bridge itself with a prefabricated span along with infrastructure reconstruction including bridge seats rehabilitation, reconstruction of bridge abutments and wing walls, installation of new approach slabs and ballast retaining structures at four corners. During the first phase of the bridge replacement work Nov. 13-15, the old bridge was hoisted out of place and replaced with the new prefabricated bridge using an 800-ton capacity crane, the largest crane ever used on LIRR property.

The remaining work includes the completion of the retaining wall installation.