The complete shutdown of New Hyde Park Road is almost upon village residents as the date chosen by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and 3TC is Monday, Feb. 3.
The full closure of New Hyde Park Road has been discussed quite frequently at previous village board meetings with Mayor Lawrence Montreuil saying that the complete closure would be a heavy burden for the village to undertake.
“Despite our objections, the MTA and 3TC will accomplish the work by completely closing New Hyde Park Road for the seven months of the project,” Montreuil said in a letter to residents on the village’s website. “3TC cited several reasons for this departure from the previously approved plan that included a two-lane bypass road (one lane in each direction). After a close analysis and review of options, and pros and cons we have come to terms that the best option is for the full closure of New Hyde Park Road.”
Now that New Hyde Park Road will be fully shutdown, the grade crossing elimination work will be reduced from nine months to seven months based on lessons learned from previous work. The village insisted that 3TC minimize traffic impact by covering the summer months as much as possible with the road expected to reopen by Labor Day.
Additionally, construction of the permanent platform that was originally planned for 2022 will be moved forward and done in conjunction with the New Hyde Park Road crossing, decreasing the total elapsed time 3TC will be in the village. The village also insisted that eastbound Plaza Avenue remain open to prevent trucks from using residential streets from South 16th to Hoffman Road.
“The village insisted that the outreach for the traffic mitigation plan extend to a much broader area, north and south of New Hyde Park, to include for example, employers in the Lake Success office center and other large employers,” Montreuil said. “The Covert Avenue closure resulted in a 10 to 15 percent reduction in the total traffic through New Hyde Park. A broader and more effective outreach is designed to divert more traffic around New Hyde Park (Tulip Avenue, Nassau Boulevard, etc.). The village may also impose local measures to react to traffic conditions such as partial closure of South 12th Street, installing speed bumps on South 12th Street, creating turning lanes from South 12th Street at Jericho Turnpike.”
Additionally, the village recommended commercial traffic be routed to Tulip Avenue in Floral Park to the west and Nassau Boulevard in Garden City to the east. The village suggested the installation of a temporary traffic signal at Denton Avenue at Tanners Pond Road to regulate traffic through the narrow underpass, maintaining Tanners Pond Road as a viable detour route. Covert Avenue is likely to take a greater load of traffic with the New Hyde Park Road closure. 3TC estimates that traffic volume on Covert Avenue will increase between 79 to 106 percent when work begins.
“We will invite the Nassau County Police Department to aggressively enforce vehicle traffic laws to ensure safety and compliance,” Montreuil continued in the letter. “We will continue to monitor Covert Avenue as the project unfolds and work closely with the county. The CEO of NICE Bus informed me that Covert Avenue via Stewart Avenue will most likely be the temporary route of the N25 bus. I have asked that the use of Sixth Avenue between New Hyde Park Road and Covert Avenue be avoided.”
The village has also taken steps to alleviate the many parking spots that will be lost during construction by convincing 3TC to utilize the lot at 124 Covert Ave. for parking. They will also enter into an agreement with Holy Spirit Church to use the church parking lot at Covert Avenue and 1st Avenue for municipal and commuter parking, negotiate an agreement with Work Courier to use the company’s 18 car lot at South 12th Street and Second Avenue in exchange for the same number of spots in the village’s residential lot and position more spots for village residents on the north side of the tracks.