The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on Oct. 31 awarded its final major civil construction contract for the Long Island Rail Road East Side Access (ESA) project to Skanska USA Civil Northeast. The contract, valued at $60.2 million, includes two options that, if exercised, would bring the total value to $62.5 million. It’s among the final work needed to begin Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Terminal by year-end 2022.
The contract, known as CH058A Tunnel B/C Approach Structure, involves relocating tracks at Harold Interlocking in Sunnyside, Queens, to create space for an 800-foot structure that will connect trains traveling to and from Long Island with newly built tunnels to the new concourse under Grand Central, and then excavating 15,000 cubic yards of soil to build that structure. It also includes removal of a tunnel boring machine cutter head that remains in the tunnel from a prior contract, installation of overhead catenary that powers Amtrak and NJ Transit trains, and new communications, power and signal duct banks, tracks and switches.
The work is expected to take 27 months.
The contractor is required to design and provide temporary support for the 39th Street Bridge while the excavation and construction is under way below.
Skanska USA Civil Northeast, one of the five qualified bidders for this contract, submitted the lowest bid for the work. The formal Notice of Award allows the contractor to begin early planning, surveying and administrative work. A Notice to Proceed, which gives the contractor full authority to commence the work, will be issued in the coming months, dependent on the completion of crucial prerequisite work in the area.
“Awarding the last heavy civil contract shows our progress toward completion of this huge—and hugely important—project,” said MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber. “East Side Access will pay off in many ways for Long Island and the region, including more trains, direct service to East Midtown, and a second passenger rail route between Manhattan and Long Island, the kind of back-up needed in the event of Superstorm Sandy-type extreme weather events and other emergencies. It’s a game changer.”
“The award of this final contract means that we have come even closer to bringing this project in on time and initiating LIRR train service to Grand Central by December 2022,” said ESA Senior Program Executive Rob Troup. “I look forward to working with our contractors and railroad partners to achieve this goal.”