Halmar Wins Long Island Rail Road Expansion Project
“By increasing capacity on one of the LIRR’s busiest corridors and eliminating all street-level grade crossings, this project will result in less traffic, less congestion and a transportation network that meets the needs of current and future generations of Long Islanders. Today’s action marks an important milestone in this project’s completion and is another major step forward in our efforts to build a brighter future for Long island.”
– Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board has approved and awarded the $1.8 billion design-build Long Island Railroad (LIRR) Expansion contract to 3rd Track Constructors (3TC).
Halmar has a 23% stake in the joint venture, 3rd Track Constructors (3TC), with Dragados USA Inc., John P. Picone Inc., and CCA Civil, Inc, with Stantec as the design professional. The approval of the 3TC contract marks another important milestone for the LIRR Expansion Project, a signature initiative of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s, and part of his comprehensive, interconnected plan to improve transit and transportation throughout the region.
The project consists of planning and construction of a third railway line extending about 10 miles from Floral Park to Hicksville, including third rail, ties, switches, cable, signal equipment, utility poles and other items needed to support railroad operations, and the elimination of seven street-level train crossings in Nassau County, New York.
In addition, the project includes construction of up to 5 parking garages, construction of retaining walls, utility relocation, fencing, station improvements and construction of new station platforms, along with measures to reduce impacts on adjacent communities such as sound attenuation barriers and landscaping.
The new line will increase the capacity of the rail service along the corridor connecting Manhattan with the entire island and developing mobility in the Long Island area. From 2013 to 2016, there were 127 incidents on the Main Line due to motorists and pedestrians attempting to move around lowered gates while a train enters the intersection which also caused 4,354 late or canceled trains, and affection millions of LIRR customers. Seven grade crossings along this 9.8-mile corridor will be eliminated, which will dramatically improve safety and reliability for both LIRR customers and crew, as well as motorists.
Street-level grade crossings to be eliminated include:
- Covert Avenue, New Hyde Park
- 12th Street, New Hyde Park
- New Hyde Park Road, New Hyde Park
- Main Street, Mineola
- Willis Avenue, Mineola
- School Street, Westbury
- Urban Avenue, Westbury
Rail infrastructure improvements throughout the corridor include:
- New signal equipment and switches.
- New power substations to bring power infrastructure to a state-of-good-repair while enhancing capacity to power three tracks simultaneously.
- With a second track on the Ronkonkoma Branch and a third track along this Main Line corridor, the LIRR will have more flexibility to perform scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, thereby reducing costs and limiting customer inconvenience.
- Station enhancements, including ADA accessibility improvements, along with longer platforms, which will eliminate the need to walk through train cars to exit, helping to avoid delays and safety issues.
- Seven rail bridges along the Main Line will be improved to accommodate a third track, and certain bridge clearances will be raised to reduce bridge strikes. Currently, when a truck hits a railroad bridge, the incident causes significant train delays and poses safety risks.
These bridges will be replaced using the method successfully employed earlier this fall, when the LIRR replaced the Post Avenue Bridge in Westbury — a span over the Main Line that had been struck by dozens of over height trucks in recent years resulting in train delays. In anticipation for future expansion, the new bridge included space for a piece of third track to be laid. With the new bridge’s height clearance now allowing trucks up to 14 feet to safely pass underneath, thus improving LIRR system infrastructure and service reliability. The project was completed on budget and ahead of schedule the weekend of October 21-22, 2017, by Halmar International.
Beginning in January 2018, 3TC will work to complete design, surveying, mobilization, utility relocations, and other early construction activities. Ongoing community outreach efforts will also be included in this phase, such as developing clear communications protocols, opening a public information office, continuing coordination with local elected officials, and soliciting input on the aesthetics of components such as stations and sound walls. In addition to its commitments to the community, 3TC has also promised job growth and contract opportunities for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, with participation goals at 15% for each category, and at 6% for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses. The overall project is expected to be completed by late 2022.