April 14, 2019
The long-awaited closure of Covert Avenue begins at 5:00 am on Monday, April 15th, putting New Hyde Park at the epi-center of this $2 B mega-project. This highly disruptive project will transform New Hyde Park forever; eliminating the crossing gates that have caused countless hours of delays, deafening horn blasts and far too many deaths throughout its long history. The result will be a much safer, more appealing crossing where the road and railroad track will never again meet. This is a very good thing.
However, the disruption to the residents living nearby will be immense. As one of the senior railroad engineers said to me, “…once we close Covert Avenue, you will see an unimaginable amount of people, trucks, cranes and construction equipment descend on this area, working 24 hours to get what is a 12 month project completed in 6 months.”
The first major impact of the full closure will be the traffic. We have worked with 3TC traffic engineers to design a detour plan that keeps traffic away from residential streets. Central to this is routing northbound Covert Avenue traffic east on Stewart Avenue to New Hyde Park Road, and west on Tulip Avenue to Carnation Avenue. Only local traffic is to be routed up residential streets.
We will observe how well this plan works at keeping traffic off village roads. We will make adjustments as necessary. We have a host of options to deploy if we see traffic flowing where it is not wanted. In an abundance of caution, this weekend I instructed DPW to pre-position barricades at all Covert Avenue intersections, so traffic can be channeled dynamically.
The traffic engineers have told us that this strategy worked well at the closing of Urban Avenue a few weeks ago. Traffic from outside the area was effectively directed away from residential streets. We will be working to ensure we have the same result here in New Hyde Park.
Meanwhile, if you do take the train, I strongly urge allowing more time in the morning.
Thank you for your patience.
Lawrence J. Montreuil
Mayor, Village of New Hyde Park