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Rail News: Passenger Rail

MTA LIRR installs new Garden City overpass

The new bridge has a vehicular clearance of 14 feet and 5 inches. The old bridge, an 1871 structure with 10-foot-4-inch clearance, was struck by over-height trucks more frequently than any other LIRR bridge.
Photo – Glen Sager/MTA Long Island Rail Road Flickr


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority recently installed an overpass in Garden City, New York, on the Long Island Rail Road's Hempstead Branch.

The new bridge over Cherry Valley Avenue has a 14-foot-5-inch vehicular clearance designed to improve safety and reduce train delays, MTA officials said in a press release. The bridge replaces a structure built in 1871 that had a lower clearance and was frequently struck by over-height trucks more than any other LIRR bridge.

The bridge was struck 162 times from 2010 through 2022. The second-most struck LIRR bridge at St. James Street and Chestnut Street, also on the Hempstead Branch, was struck 50 times in the same time period.

Also as part of the project, the track bed of the grade crossing at nearby Cathedral Avenue was rebuilt and brought to a state of good repair.

LIRR crews raised the bridge 12 inches at a time (36 inches total) over three consecutive weekends. This project is part of a $17.7 billion investment program to modernize the LIRR, funding more than 100 projects, including the opening of LIRR service at Grand Central Madison in January, MTA officials said.

MTA crews have raised the heights of seven bridges in Nassau County since 2018 under the LIRR Main Line Expansion Project taking place between Floral Park and Hicksville.