As of April 8, the streets are now a ‘one way’ street.
The complete shutdown of the Covert Avenue grade crossing in New Hyde Park is just days away, starting on Monday, April 15, and will remain closed for the next six months. Not only will residents in New Hyde Park feel the effect of the shutdown, but residents in nearby Floral Park will as well.
At the Village of Floral Park board meeting late last month, the village board passed traffic resolutions to alleviate major traffic concerns that are expected to happen within the village. The following resolutions were passed: Resolution No. 2019-69, which will temporarily change the direction of traffic on Cisney Avenue to one way heading easterly from Orchid Street to Covert Avenue, Resolution No. 2019-70, which will temporarily change the direction of traffic on Beverly Avenue to one way heading easterly from Orchid Street to Covert Avenue, and Resolution No. 2019-71, which will temporarily install “No Right Turn” signs at the intersections of Marshall Avenue/Revere Drive West; Beverly Avenue/Revere Drive West; and Cisney Avenue/Revere Drive West.
At the meeting, trustee Archie Cheng said after consultation with the village’s traffic engineering firm, NV5, and the traffic engineering firm for 3TC, who are the design contract builders for the project, it was best to temporarily change the direction of those streets.
Cheng said that Marshall Avenue will remain a two-way street because the avenue is necessary for emergency service vehicles to access the village’s Hillcrest area.
“The board understands that this may cause extra traffic on Marshall and that it will impact Marshall Avenue residents,” said Cheng. “It is our hope that motorists on Marshall Avenue will then turn left at the four intersections on Marshall to gain access to Tulip Avenue. Furthermore, we do not want to see excessive traffic proceeding from Marshall to Magnolia Avenue. We are passing this resolution now, however, as we are going to take a ‘wait and see’ attitude regarding traffic patterns after implementing the temporary one-way road changes on Cisney and Beverly Avenues.”
It is expected that the village will implement the street changes on or about Monday, April 1, to begin to educate motorists of these changes. An increased presence of village police will be felt on Covert Avenue as well.
Cheng also reported that the village, the MTA and 3TC have had numerous discussions, meetings and arguments for the past several months regarding the use of the four MTA access gates along the MTA Right-of-Way from Plainfield Avenue and the village’s Recreation Center to build the retaining walls along the Right-of-Way.
“We were initially informed that access for delivery of machinery, supplies and equipment would be necessary for at least eight months,” said Cheng. “The village argued that that length of time seemed excessive for the short length of wall being constructed. We were also informed that the trucks delivering the items mentioned would carry in excess of 20,000 pounds of retaining wall blocks.
When alerted to the fact that our roads have a load limit of 10,000 pounds and that our police force has the expertise and certifications to do truck inspections, 3TC advised the village that if they only used the gate, Plainfield [Avenue] and New Hyde Park, and not use our local roads, the retaining wall work would take at least 16 months. The village found this to be totally unacceptable.”
However, the village, the MTA and the 3TC came to an understanding. In exchange for the village allowing 3TC the use of its Department of Public Works yard, the adjacent baseball field and the use of the village’s local roads, 3TC represented and promised many amenities to Floral Park.
In return for Floral Park’s facilities, 3TC will pay the village $100,000; truck access to the Right-of- Way will be restricted to the hours of 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; access for wall construction behind the Recreation Center and the pool will be from 6th Avenue in New Hyde Park; at the conclusion of the 3rd track project, 3TC will donate a used street sweeper in good working order to the village as well as repair any roads damaged by their use of the local roads.
In addition, 3TC will support the village’s application for the use of the Community Benefit Fund to purchase two police vehicles and two to three small used vehicles for the village’s meter enforcement officers.
According to Mayor Dominick Longobardi, residents will be kept informed of all phases of the construction work.
“It is a short-term project and we want it to impact residents as little as possible,” said Longobardi. “We want to keep our businesses strong on Covert Avenue.”