On Tuesday, October 28, 2014 the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Long Island Rail Road Committee announced the approval of a $45 million, 6-phase infrastructure improvement project on Colonial Road in Great Neck, NY. This critical investment will provide long term bridge safety, improve train service reliability and reduce flooding problems that often hamper train service. Additionally, the existing pocket track will be extended by 12 train-car lengths allowing the LIRR to store and maneuver more trains on the Port Washington Line. (It will also enable the routing of more trains to the East Side of Manhattan once the East Side Access Project is completed in 2022.) Railroad Construction Company, Inc. was awarded a $25 million contract to perform four of the six phases of construction on this vital undertaking.
The project is comprised of three main segments: replacement of the Colonial Road Bridge, improvement of drainage at track level and extension of the existing pocket track. The bridge, built in 1897 and located in the Village of Thomaston (half mile east of Great Neck Station) carries vehicles over the LIRR’s tracks. It is considered to be “functionally obsolete” by the Department of Transportation. This phase will include the demolition and removal of the existing steel bridge, construction of a new bridge, bridge footing and foundations and the installation of new roadway approaches and paving.
Other phases will include pocket track construction, signal installation, miscellaneous clearing and earthwork, construction of retaining walls, utility modifications and roadway and drainage improvements. All work must be scheduled around the current train timetable which cannot be interrupted.
This design / build project is a collaborative effort between Long Island Rail Road, KS Engineers, P.C., WSP Group, Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers, HNTB and Railroad Construction which has allowed us to explore alternate construction methods which will expedite and enhance the project. We are excited to be working with LIRR and the design team and thankful for the opportunity to provide Long Island and the local community with a safer means of transportation both above and on the tracks.