MTA's new Elmont-UBS Station continues to progress with installation of new pedestrian overpass

March 22, 2022
The new overpass will help customers cross safely between eastbound and westbound platforms.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) installed a pedestrian overpass at the new Elmont-UBS Station this past weekend, which will connect the eastbound and westbound platforms and help Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) customers cross safely from one side of the platform to the other.

The pedestrian bridge was designed to be wider than a normal LIRR overpass in order to accommodate large crowds. It was built by MTA Construction & Development (C&D) crews along the right of way nearby and they added the architectural panels and roofing to complete the structure. MTA C&D crews piggybacked part of this project on a weekend Main Line outage where LIRR forces removed old switches and realigned track as part of the LIRR expansion project. MTA C&D crews had to “thread the needle” in between trains on the still in service Hempstead Branch, by lifting and anchoring the completed 85-ton pedestrian bridge in less than two hours.

The LIRR also used a Track Laying Machine (TLM), a special train that replaced old wooden railroad ties with concrete ties from east of Bellerose station to Floral Park. These new, resilient concrete ties have the potential to require little or no maintenance for decades.

Elmont-UBS Station, the first new LIRR station built in almost 50 years, began service to coincide with the New York Islanders first home game in November 2021 at the brand-new UBS Arena.

“Islanders fans and concert goers have used this beautiful new station since it opened last fall, and MTA Construction and Development’s crews did an amazing job building, lifting and installing this bridge with no impact to LIRR service,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “This pedestrian overpass is another step toward making Elmont-UBS a full-service bi-directional station that will be ready for the thousands more who will come here for the future shopping, housing and events at UBS Arena.”

“Installing this pedestrian overpass in a single weekend shows the ingenuity and resourcefulness of our team in their efforts to make Elmont a full-service destination for riders,” said MTA C&D President Jamie Torres-Springer. “We are working on time and on budget as we create the first new LIRR station in almost 50-years. As New Yorkers return to hockey games, concerts and other events, the LIRR will be prepared to get them there in the most convenient way available.”

Currently, only the eastbound platform is open for service and service at the station will increase later this year when the westbound platform opens. At that time, the station will begin full-time year-round service to the local community and will begin to provide westbound service to and from events at UBS Arena and Belmont Park. Long Islanders who live east of Belmont on the Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma Branches will have a one-seat ride straight to events for the first time. This will reduce travel times and is expected to increase the number of event attendees who use public transportation, helping alleviate traffic congestion on Long Island.

When both platforms are complete, the new station will feature two 12-car-long high-level platforms with canopies, elevators that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, USB charging stations, Help Points, security cameras, digital signs with train arrival information, Wi-Fi and a state-of-the-art snow melting system embedded in the concrete of the platforms to ensure they remain free of snow and ice during winter storms.