Firms qualified to bid on LIRR third track

Written by Railway Age Staff
4826 R8 LIRR Expansion Project edit

The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) on Feb. 2 announced the list of construction firms deemed qualified to bid on the LIRR Expansion Project.

The project will add a third track to 10 miles of the railroad’s two-track main line between Floral Park and Hicksville into and out of New York City, and eliminate seven grade crossings, among other improvements.

The qualified firms are: 3rd Track Constructors (John P. Picone Inc., Dragados USA, Inc., CCA Civil, Inc., and Halmar International LLC); Skanska Kiewit Posillico JV (Skanska USA Civil Northeast Inc., Kiewit Infrastructure Co., and Posillico Civil, Inc.); Third Track Partners (Granite Construction Northeast, Inc., Judlau Contracting, Inc., and The Lane Construction Corp.), and Tutor Perini/O&G JV (Tutor Perini Corporation and O&G Industries, Inc.).

The project is a signature initiative of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and part of his larger plan to improve transit and transportation throughout the region and state.

“This pivotal project will drive the long-overdue modernization of the LIRR,” said LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski in a statement. “The Governor’s proposal will achieve critically important reliability and service improvements for customers, but differs completely from prior proposals by minimizing the impacts of construction on local communities.”

The project is employing the “design-build” process in which a contractor is responsible for both design and construction. The process aims to speed construction, placing the risk for cost overruns on the contractor, the agencies said, but also rewarding contractors for reducing impacts on local communities and commuters.

The agencies said that design-build has been used successfully in construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge outside New York City, as well as the LIRR’s Ellison Avenue Bridge replacement project.

The project is expected to cost $2 billion.

The firms will now enter a competitive bidding process in which a Request for Proposals will highlight the project’s emphasis on meeting milestone dates and minimizing construction disruption. The contract award will still await an environmental review process and authorization by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board.

Bids are expected to include proposed measures to reduce the impact of construction ranging from workers’ parking to monitoring of noise and air quality, and preservation of access to existing businesses.

The agencies are trying to minimize the kind of lengthy disruptions to residents and businesses that occurred during construction of the recently opened Second Avenue subway in Manhattan.

The qualifying announcement follows an informational open house held this past December for potential applicants. The bidders were evaluated by personnel from the MTA, LIRR, NYSDOT, New York City Transit, Metro-North and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The current project differs from a previous proposal as construction will not require a single residential property being taken, with the third track being added entirely within the LIRR’s existing property lines. Sound-reducing barrier walls will be added, station renovations, and more parking.

As much as 40% of the LIRR’s 308,000 daily passengers moves via the Main Line, and the project is expected improve service for more than half a million passengers per week.

The project also includes major track infrastructure upgrades such as new switches, signals and power equipment, as well as new longer station platforms to accommodate full-length trains.

The public comment period is open until Feb. 15, 2017 at 5 p.m. Comments may be made by visiting the project website at or the project’s walk-in information center at Mineola Station.

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