Tuesday, March 23, 2010

MTA Metro-North, LIRR change schedules for infrastructure work

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MTA Metro-North Railroad's new April 11 timetable will make temporary, minor schedule changes on all three lines to allow for track maintenance projects. On the Upper Hudson Line, schedule adjustments will allow for installation of concrete ties until June 2010. Poughkeepsie, New Hamburg and Beacon customers in all time periods will be affected by schedule changes requiring trains to depart earlier or later, and in some cases, to travel up to seven minutes slower or 10 minutes faster.

This spring, Metro-North will begin work on drainage improvements on the Harlem Line between Melrose and Fordham. To allow for this work, all weekend Harlem Line trains will travel two to four minutes slower because some tracks will be out of service. Due to bridge repairs between Goldens Bridge and Brewster, two late night trains will be temporarily adjusted.

Also due to the drainage improvements on the Harlem Line, all weekend New Haven Line trains, which share tracks with the Harlem Line in the Bronx, will operate two to four minutes slower.

Buses will replace train service for Long Island Rail Road customers traveling between Long Beach and Valley Stream the weekend of March 27-28 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 train outages on two other weekends - May 1-2 and 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) 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 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.

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