The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) completed the $9.7-million replacement of the Post Avenue Bridge in Westbury, N.Y., ahead of schedule, allowing traffic to return to normal on Oct. 23.
The original bridge’s clearance was 11 feet 10 inches. LIRR says trucks traveling underneath the bridge would strike it between five and nine times per year for the past six years. Train delays in both directions would loom as LIRR crews worked to determine its safety and structural stability before restoring train service. The new bridge allows truck of up to 14 feet to pass underneath.
Halmar International, Inc., won the design-build contract and utilized a construction method with a remote-controlled lifting device. According to LIRR, that transporter lifted the 103-year-old bridge, which remained intact, after it was cut away from its connection to the abutments, and placed into an adjacent parking lot. The new bridge, which had been constructed in the adjacent parking lot, was then lifted, in its entirety, and put into place over the roadway. The contractor then had to modify the abutments to support the new bridge height
Patrick Nowakowski, president of the LIRR, called the project a great service improvement for LIRR riders, thanked the Halmar International team and LIRR crews for their work and credited good planning in the success of the project.
“The project was one that had to be done in a 52-hour period and I’m happy to report that the project actually finished early. It was a success due to the amount of planning that went into this,” said Nowakowski.
The Post Avenue Bridge replacement is also the first completed initiative related to the LIRR Main Line Third Track Expansion Project, which will add 9.8 miles of third track along LIRR’s Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville. LIRR says the new bridge is 13 feet wider than its predecessor to allow for a section of third track to be placed.