The dangerous rail grade crossing located on Roslyn Road in Mineola will soon be gone forever. This comes as great news to many who know how dangerous this crossing is. The grade crossing is no stranger to near or actual tragedies as many probably remember how 37 year old Michael Artale was struck and killed by a LIRR train after walking around the gates. A near tragedy occurred recently when a woman mistook the LIRR tracks as a road & started to drive down them before getting rescued seconds before a train hit & destroyed her car.
Here is an article about the plans to remove the grade crossing courtesy of Newsday:
More than a decade before 37-year-old Michael Artale was struck and killed by a train after he walked around the lowered gates at Roslyn Road, state officials had talked about eliminating the Mineola grade crossing.
Now, nearly a decade later, work to eliminate the crossing is well under way and should be complete by this summer, state officials said.
“Why it took so long ticks me off,” said Robert Kessler of Mineola, a friend of Artale’s. “It would have saved his life.”
Just last Thursday, the crossing nearly claimed another life when a 63-year-old Floral Park woman accidentally drove onto the tracks. She was pulled from her car just moments before it was crushed by a westbound Long Island Rail Road train.
Eliminating a grade crossing is neither cheap nor easy. The Mineola project has a price tag of $24.3 million, and the work itself has been a massive undertaking, state officials said, requiring excavation under existing tracks for a new roadway and the installation of a 365-ton steel railroad bridge.
While it’s illegal to walk or drive around lowered gates at grade crossings, dozens who have done so have died or been injured all across Long Island in the past decade.
State officials said the project will eliminate such dangers at the site and improve traffic on Roslyn Road. Approximately 200 LIRR trains and 16,000 vehicles pass through the intersection each day, officials said.
Barbara Bodner, who has lived near the grade crossing for the past seven years, said vehicle traffic has gotten worse, sometimes backing up four blocks to Westbury Avenue.
“When I first moved in they were talking about it,” she said. “I’ve seen people walk across when the gates are down.”
The new roadway under the bridge is scheduled to open at Roslyn Road by the end of next month, state officials said. The entire project, which includes removing crossing gates and adding sidewalks, drainage work and landscaping, is to be complete by summer.
In 1998, the Herricks Road crossing in Mineola – once called the most dangerous at-grade crossing in America by the National Transportation Safety Board – was eliminated. In 1982, an accident there killed nine teenagers.
According to the LIRR, although the new bridge over Roslyn Road includes space for a third track, which the railroad said is needed to expand capacity on the main line, the elimination of the grade crossing is not part of the third track project.
LIRR officials said that project could lead to the elimination of up to five other grade crossings in Westbury and New Hyde Park.
This grade crossing should have been removed years ago if you ask me. The completion of this project can not come soon enough!
xoxo Transit Blogger