Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the $27 billion 2015-19 MTA Capital Program has received final approval from the Capital Plan Review Board. The passage of this Capital Program marks the largest investment in MTA infrastructure in state history and outlines five years’ worth of vital investments to renew, enhance and expand the MTA network.
This year, the state committed to $8.3 billion in funding to the MTA’s $27 billion Capital Plan. This investment, when combined with existing efforts, will purchase more than 2,340 buses and 1,450 subway cars to the system; advance an initiative to build four new Metro-North stations in underserved areas of the Bronx and bring Metro-North service to Penn Station; begin the extension of the Second Avenue Subway to East Harlem; continue the project to enhance LIRR performance by adding a second track along 18 miles between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma; renovate and revitalize stations; an accelerated plan to create a new fare payment system to replace the MetroCard; and continue building the East Side Access project so that LIRR riders will be able to travel into Grand Central Terminal.
In addition to the $27 billion the CPRB approved, the MTA’s Capital Program includes nearly $3 billion in self-funded bridge and tunnel improvement and repair projects financed by MTA Bridges and Tunnels.
Gov. Cuomo also announced that the MTA is moving forward with a plan to renovate 31 subway stations throughout the New York metropolitan area – a key aspect of his plan to reimagine the MTA for the 21st century. This week, the MTA Board is expected to approve a Request for Statement of Qualifications to begin identifying design-build teams to undertake the massive renovation program.
The station renovation initiative will include a wide range of innovative designs to enhance the customer experience, including dramatically improved lighting and more intuitive signs to make it easier for customers to navigate stations. The renovated stations will also offer amenities such as cellular connectivity, Wi-Fi and new art.
The RSQ is the first step in a two-step process in which the most qualified teams are identified and short listed. After a group of pre-qualified design-build teams have been identified by early summer, teams on the shortlist will be invited to submit proposals on all subsequent station renovation packages beginning in July.
The first contract is expected to be awarded in the fall. Makeover work at the selected stations is expected to be completed in six to 12 months, and the work at most of the 31 stations will be completed by December 2018. The 31 stations included in the Station Renovation Program build upon a larger campaign designed to improve the customer experience that will include component and renewal work at more than 170 other stations.
The MTA also announced the advancement of key contracts for the design and construction of the final phase of the Long Island Rail Road's Double Track project, which will dramatically increase capacity of the Ronkonkoma Branch along 18 miles between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma by adding a second track. The addition will allow the LIRR to provide more frequent off-peak service to the Ronkonkoma Branch in both directions and improve reliability and on-time performance, increasing flexibility and reducing delays associated with service disruptions.
A design-build contract valued at up to $59.7 million will be awarded to Skanska-Posillico II (JV) to design and construct 7.4 miles of track between Farmingdale and Central Islip. A related $44.8 million design-build contract will be awarded to Ansaldo STS USA Inc. to build a new design and signaling system that will use computer-based train control software to better coordinate train movement when the second track is activated. Both contracts are expected to be approved by the MTA Board on Wednesday. Completion of the project is targeted for the end of 2018.
At the direction of the Governor, the LIRR is using design-build contracts – in which a single team of contractors is responsible for both designing and building an entire project – to ensure that coordination is seamless, and that work is completed in the shortest possible timeframe.
Construction work is already in progress. By the time the entire project is completed, the LIRR estimates Double Track will have injected close to $100 million into the Long Island economy.