Written by D.F. Karppi Friday, 28 September 2012 00:00
The Town of Oyster Bay received approval from the NYS DOT in an Aug. 28 letter, to relocate the existing at-grade pedestrian crossing over the Oyster Bay Branch of the LIRR from Maxwell Avenue to Audrey Avenue. The move will make the entrance to Theodore Roosevelt Park visible from the Audrey Avenue bandstand crossroads.
Bill Bell, Oyster Bay Railroad Museum development director said, “The letter of approval from the NYS DOT brought smiles to a lot of faces this week. The relocation of the TR Park pedestrian entrance has been a long held goal of the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum and our community organization partners. This will mark a truly transformative step in the revitalization of the Audrey Ave. extension, as well as the rest of the downtown.
“The museum is truly grateful for the enthusiastic support of the Oyster Bay Main Street Association, the Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce, and the numerous other community and civic organizations that helped make this happen,” he added.
The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum has a design for a plaza in their area at the end of Audrey Avenue designed for them by Saratoga Associates. It will finish off the area by the new entrance to TR Park. Mr. Bell said, “We are hoping that when the work is done for moving the pedestrian walkway, the plaza work can somehow fold into the whole project since they will have the materials and equipment needed for the work at that time and location.”
The move is contingent on several points including that all warning devices installed at the crossing be in accordance with applicable federal, state and railroad safety standards; all the design plans and warning devices need to be submitted to the NYS DOT’s Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Section for review and approval; all the design, installation and construction costs for the proposed crossing should be paid by the Town of Oyster Bay, (the LIRR will construct the crossing); the LIRR will be responsible for all future maintenance costs on the crossing, and lastly, the Maxwell Avenue crossing be closed.
The DOT added that the work must be completed on or before June 30, 2015 or the approval will be rescinded without any further action by them.
The Town of Oyster Bay asked for the relocation in line with their work on restoring and renovating Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park. The schedule for the work is to be announced.
The town explained, “While we have had an agreement with the LIRR on the scope of work based upon our conceptual plans, our engineers will now complete the final design of the new crossing in conjunction with the LIRR. As a condition of our approval, the NYSDOT must review and approve these plans which will add an undetermined amount of time to our schedule for construction.”
The town spokesperson Brian DeVine said, “The town would like to complete this work as part of the Phase 2 Improvements project for the park, but as approval by the NYSDOT is now required for the crossing portion of the work, the crossing may be constructed separately, depending on the time it will take to receive NYSDOT approval and what additional requirements the NYSDOT may have above what is shown on the conceptual plans shown at the hearing.
“As far as budget, if the current plans are not significantly altered, work will be performed under the Phase 2 budget. If there are substantial changes to the plans, work may be delayed to the next budget cycle.”
At the moment, the town has no estimate as to the cost of the crossing. Mr. DeVine explained, “Since final design documents have not yet been produced, and since there is the potential for changes to the plans after NYSDOT review, it is premature to release estimated costs at this time.”