June 11, 2018
Although there are few outward signs, the Third Track Project is in full swing and in high gear. The “early work” is being done that includes engineering designs, land surveys, soil samplings, etc. Representatives from the design-build firm, Third Track Constructors or 3TC, will be conducting inspections of specific homes that are located close to the tracks to establish the existing condition of the foundations. This is so any claims homeowners may make for damage due to vibration from the construction can be referenced against the pre-construction condition.
The Village continues to manage the process and assure that the mitigations we negotiated in our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the LIRR are realized as the project has been turned over to the design-build firm. 3TC has received the notice to proceed and they are now on the clock to complete the mega-project in the contractually agreed time frame. To that end, we have retained The VERTEX Companies, Inc., a renowned engineering firm to perform reviews of all engineering documents that pertain to the project and require approval by the Village of New Hyde Park.
An early task was to perform a gap analysis between the original letter I sent the MTA listing our concerns and the suggested mitigations, to the MOU that captured our agreement on mitigation steps, to the MTA / 3TC contract. The requirements seem to have flowed down through the documents although without a lot of detail. At our meetings with 3TC we provide the color and context of the written word so 3TC understands the spirit and intent of the document. We have found 3TC to be attentive and respectful, yet we understand their motivation to proceed with great speed and to manage costs.
Our motivation is to ensure that this project proceeds with the least possible adverse impacts to the residents of New Hyde Park, and that the result we are left with not only preserves but improves the suburban character of our village.
During our last meeting with 3TC, we requested a number of plans that would give us more insight into the degree to which the project will impact our community and its residents. We are still waiting for a traffic control plan, a dust control plan, a rodent control plan, a parking plan, etc. These plans are still in development. Our MOU asserts our right to provide input and influence into how these activities are accomplished so our residents are protected.
For example, on June 1st we were given the completed designs for the water and sewer relocation plan for Covert Avenue. We are asked to complete our technical review and provide our approval in seven days. The designs revealed plans to replace the sanitary sewer serving residents on Wayne Avenue. One obvious question we have posed is: how long will residents be without water, sewer and other utility services?
While we are still awaiting other plans, our meeting did provide insight into some high level points on when different elements of the project will evolve. Perhaps the most poignant was the answer to my question of the hours of operation during construction.
We were told for this project to be completed on time, it will be necessary to work around the clock. So, to excavate Covert Avenue and install the foundations, 3TC will be running two drills, each drilling 50’ deep for 250’ to the north and 250’ to south of the crossing for five days per week, 24 hours per day. The drills emit 75dba, not including other construction equipment, trucks with back up alarms, electrical generators, workers’ voices, etc. The process will be repeated on New Hyde Park Road in August and September of 2019.
A high level view of some of the construction work is as follows:
|August, 2018||124 Covert Avenue will be demolished. The property will be used to stage construction equipment and for construction of the bridge structures that will support 2nd Avenue, the railroad and 3rd Avenue. The property will be returned to the present owner when the project is finished.
|February – March, 2019||Drilling and excavation along 500’ of Covert Avenue, 5 days per week, 24 hours per day.
|April, 2019||Demolition of 115 New Hyde Park Road. A cistern will be buried to facilitate drainage from the New Hyde Park Road underpass. A surface parking lot will be built at the site.
|August – September, 2019||Drilling and excavation along New Hyde Park Road, 5 days per week, 24 hours per day.|
We will share more details as we receive them.
We are continuing to work very closely with 3TC and the MTA/LIRR to keep our sometimes diverging interests aligned. I am also coordinating closing with Senator Phillips who has been a vigilant supporter of New Hyde Park. Additionally, after speaking with Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth at the New Hyde Park Little League parade, we have formed a coalition of mainline mayors. Along with the Ms. Bosworth, the mayors meet to discuss common concerns in each of our jurisdictions. This group meets on a regular basis.
The Village is also seeking 100 Village residents who live close to tracks to participate in responding to a quarterly survey of how well 3TC is doing. The results will be used, along with other input, to create a scorecard for the firm. The results of the scorecard will determine if 3TC receives all or some of a $250,000 bonus each quarter. Please contact Village Clerk-Treasurer, Kate Hillmann firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to participate.
Once again, we will continue to provide updates on this very important project.
Lawrence J. Montreuil