MTA completes replacement of Denton Avenue Bridge

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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MTA Denton Ave. Bridge

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber announced that crews have completed putting in place a new bridge carrying the Long Island Rail Road main line over Denton Avenue/Tanners Pond Road in Garden City.

The move is the final bridge to be replaced or upgraded as part of the LIRR Expansion project and ensures that the LIRR Expansion Project, which is adding a third track to the LIRR Main Line and eliminating eight at-grade railroad crossings, remains on time and on budget. In addition to a completely rebuilt structure with a third bay for a third track, the bridge has been raised from 12’9” to a national standard height of 14 feet, consistent with bridges along the Main Line corridor.  

The new bridge accommodates the third track, that when complete this year, will run along a 9.8-mile stretch between Hicksville and Floral Park, creating a more reliable rail network that enables the LIRR to increase service on the Main Line and create unprecedented flexibility on the Ronkonkoma, Port Jefferson and Oyster Bay branches. 

“The LIRR Third Track Project is about creating a safer, more reliable, higher capacity railroad for the millions of people who use the LIRR each year, and this is a major milestone for the project,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “In just two years, crews have replaced or upgraded seven bridges and eliminated eight at-grade crossings. The MTA is making the entire LIRR stronger, safer and better – not just for riders but for everyone living on the Island.” 

This is the final bridge of seven that were replaced or upgraded as part of the LIRR Expansion Project, which nears completion.  

“The new Denton Avenue Bridge is a major milestone for the LIRR Expansion Project, keeping this transformative project on track through innovative construction techniques and precise coordination across the MTA,” said MTA Construction & Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “The innovative box-jacking technique used to place this bridge dramatically shortens the length of construction work and minimizes disruption, illustrating our commitment to delivering projects better, faster and cheaper.” 

“There will be greater service flexibility because the third track eliminates old bottlenecks and when there’s an issue on the Main Line west of Hicksville, the LIRR will be able to route around it, reducing delays and increasing customer comfort. Bridge replacements are a big part of the project,” said LIRR Interim President Catherine Rinaldi. “The LIRR Expansion Project will be transformative for Long Islanders by creating new stations, eliminating inconvenient grade crossings that delay traffic, raising bridges that were constantly hit by trucks causing delays, cutting down noise and air pollution and creating a more robust reverse commute.” 

In addition to the construction of a third track to the main line, replacement or upgrading of seven bridges and the elimination of eight at-grade crossings, the LIRR Expansion project included numerous benefits: 

  • Station houses modernized and upgraded. 
  • Parking garages and retaining walls built.  
  • Longer-lasting concrete railroad ties installed.  
  • Old switches and signals replaced with modernized systems and new interlockings. 
  • Modernized electrical systems. 
  • Upgraded landscaping installed.  

When the project is completed, five stations will be completely rebuilt, 10 miles of a third track will be installed and infrastructure such as power substations and interlockings will be built. Local residents will no longer have to deal with nuisances like the sounding of train horns and crossing bells. Traffic backups due to the closure of crossing gates and over height truck collisions with railroad bridges will also be a thing of past. 

Together, the upgrades will help transform transportation across the region and provide a reliable, state-of-the-art rail system for Long Islanders. For more information on the 100+ projects that are part of the LIRR Expansion Project, visit aModernLI.com. 

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