Long Island Rail Road Expansion (LIRR), Long Island, New York

Expansion to America’s busiest commuter railroad comes on time and under budget

MTA LIRR expansion

A major expansion to the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)’s Main Line is now open to the public.

Extending from Floral Park to Hicksville, New York, the 9.8-mile third track expansion to the LIRR Main Line increases capacity by 50%, alleviates congestion during peak hours, improves overall rail services and enhances rider safety. Joint Venture (JV) partners Arup and Jacobs delivered this critical program on schedule and on budget.

  • 9.8

    miles of third main line track

  • $ 2.6 B

    project, delivered on time, on budget

  • 50 %

    capacity increase

  • 1 st

    design-build project for MTA C&D

“It is a great achievement that we have successfully delivered every major milestone planned . . . a feat that could not have been accomplished without the continued efforts of the Project Management Consultant [Arup/Jacobs Joint Venture].”

Janno Lieber

Chief Development Officer, MTA Construction & Development

Goals and systems lead to success

Located in a dense urban environment and involving a wide array of public and private stakeholders, diverse technical and compliance requirements and strict deadline and budget benchmarks, the LIRR Expansion Project is a complex and challenging undertaking. An Arup and Jacobs Engineering joint venture team (AJJV) understood from the outset that effective management of a design build project of this magnitude would hinge on clearly delineating project goals and responsibilities and putting systems in place to support close coordination, clear communication, ongoing monitoring and accountability.

A comprehensive plan

As a critically important public works project, there is much riding on the LIRR Expansion Project’s success. It is also destined to set precedent, as MTA C&D’s first design build project. To help facilitate a successful delivery and provide a template for future projects, the team worked with MTA C&D and LIRR to develop a comprehensive project management plan (PMP). The PMP serves as a vehicle to help key decision makers and task managers think through how to deliver the project on-time and within-budget; formalize their vision and make it transparent to others; and provide a project management roadmap with clearly assigned goals and responsibilities. The plan is being updated as work progresses to support ongoing improvements and accountability.

The digital dashboard

The AJJV team’s second step was to develop a digital toolbox and create an information and document hub updated in real time, enhance communication and coordination, streamline design and construction compliance and support safety and accountability.

The team is utilizing a variety of applications and technologies, such as the Fulcrum app, Panono 360 cameras, time lapse videos, and drones, to track and record project information on everything from technical compliance to scheduling, site conditions, construction activity and security. A curated collection of this data is then made available to all team members via the Digital Dashboard, a custom application designed and built by AJJV. Accessible to all team members, the Digital Dashboard cuts through myriad data pulled from a variety of sources and stakeholders and enables team members to quickly understand overall project condition, construction status, schedule information and team performance. 

The LIRR Expansion Project is currently slated for substantial completion in October 2022.