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October 12, 2020
South 12th Street will be permanently closed to vehicular traffic on October 24, 2020.
With the Covert Avenue and New Hyde Road at grade crossing eliminated, the LIRR’s contractor, 3TC is now turning their attention to the elimination of the railroad crossing at South 12th Street. According to the plans, South 12th Street will no long traverse the railroad tracks. A pedestrian underpass will be built at South 12th Street to allow people to safely traverse the tracks. Motorists will have to use Covert Avenue or New Hyde Park Road to cross the tracks.
Obviously, this creates yet another inconvenience for Village residents who probably account for the majority users of the South 12th Street crossing. It is important to remember that the full closure of South 12th Street will result in the least overall impact compared to the alternate grade crossing designs proposed by the LIRR.
The pedestrian underpass is not projected to be completed until the first quarter of 2021; around the same time as the new platforms will be completed. This means that pedestrians, like motorists, must use either Covert Avenue or New Hyde Park Road to cross the tracks until the underground walkway is completed.
We are also working with LIRR and 3TC to widen the small turn off road from northbound Covert Avenue to accommodate larger trucks to serve our industrial zone. This in turn ties into the traffic flow and commuter parking along the right of way.
These discussions are going on amidst the backdrop of intensive work in New Hyde Park along the right of way. Residents living near the track know this all too well. The planned track outages for 7 consecutive weekends throughout October have become opportunities the LIRR is taking to accelerate work in our area. We have seen considerable work being done around the clock on the weekends, on utility lines, platforms and tracks. The noise from the trucks and equipment has been very disruptive. I have personally spoken to 5 truck drivers and requested they stop idling their trucks, during one single week. I have communicated demands to the MTA project executives that on-site supervisors must control noise and disturbances from the site in accordance with the Noise and Vibration Plan that has been approved.
Which brings me to the 3TC scorecard. The scorecard was designed to empower residents living close to the project the ability to influence the degree to which 3TC received quarterly incentive payments of $250,000. I urge residents to use the scorecard to evaluate 3TC’s performance. While disbursements have been temporarily suspended due to the MTA’s financial crisis, it is important to register accurate appraisals.
The New Hyde Park community and especially those residents living near the tracks continue to bear an unbalanced burden to accomplish this mega-project. Please know, the Village Board is doing everything we can to minimize that burden.
Thank you and stay safe.
Lawrence J. Montreuil
Mayor, Village of New Hyde Park