LIRR 3rd track project goes to 3TC

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor, Railway Track & Structures
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) board has approved a $1.8 billion design-build contract for 3rd Track Constructors (3TC) to complete work on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) expansion project.

3TC is a joint-venture which includes Dragados USA Inc., John P. Picone Inc., CCA Civil Inc., Halmar International LLC, Stantec and Cameron Engineering.

The project plans to add a third track to 9.8 miles along the congested Main Line of the LIRR between Floral Park and Hicksville and eliminate all seven street-level grade crossings within the project corridor. The route on a typical weekday sees more than 250 trains and is used by 40% of LIRR riders.

“This modernization initiative will provide faster commuting with a more reliable network, and will allow us to keep the railroad in a state-of-good-repair,” said MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota. “All too often, major delays on the LIRR are tied to incidents along this corridor. With this investment, Long Islanders and New York City residents alike will be able to avoid the crippling and cascading delays that affect the entire network. This project will transform not only Long Island, but the economy and accessibility of the entire region.”

LIRR President Pat Nowakowski said that the infrastructure improvements were identified as crucial years ago and he is happy that the enhancements will soon come to fruition.

“The reliability of our system is the focal point for good service, and with this project, the LIRR will be able to deliver that better than ever for our customers who rely on the railroad for commuting to work and school, and other facets of daily life,” Nowakowski said.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo first announced the project in January 2016. A two-step procurement process was approved by the MTA Board in November 2016, with four bidders pre-qualifying in January 2017.

Three of the pre-qualified bidders submitted design-build proposals. The proposals were reviewed by technical committees, including staff from the LIRR, MTA and state Department of Transportation.

The selection process ended with the recommendation of 3TC’s application, which MTA said offered the lowest price and best overall value. 3TC was found to have a strong understanding of the overall scope of the project, along with awareness of community impacts with a commitment to an innovative approach and to deliver a high-quality project.

The $1.813-billion 3TC contract award comprises a base scope of $1.457 billion for work during the current 2015-19 Capital Plan Program, and a completion scope for an additional $356 million to be funded through the 2020-24 Capital Plan Program.

Beginning in January 2018, the contractors will work to complete design, surveying, mobilization, utility relocations, and other early construction activities. Substantial construction is set to begin in late 2018.

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